Once upon a time, there was a little bunny named Harriet, and she loved nothing more than playing with her best friend Alice. Alice lived across the field from Harriet’s burrow. They spent hours nibbling on clover and wiggling their whiskers. Most of all, they loved playing with Harriet’s Wii. One tragic day, the Wii broke. The next day, Harriet waited and waited for Alice to come over to play. Alice did not come that day, nor the next. Alice never came over to play again. Harriet did not know that Alice had found a new friend, with a Wii that worked. When Harriet found out about Alice’s betrayal of their friendship, she wondered: what is a true friend? In an attempt to ease her pain, Harriet got a big bowl of ice cream, and lost herself in reading the Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle. There, she discovered that there were actually three different forms of friendship: pleasure, utility and perfection.
As Harriet read on, she came to realize that her relationship with Alice appeared to fit Aristotle's model of a utility based friendship. Alice had seemed to like her, and enjoyed their time together, but it was all too clear that Alice was more interested in the benefit of being able to play with the gaming console than obtaining value in their relationship by recognizing the many virtues of Harriet. The moment that the benefit of playing with the Wii was removed, the friendship dissolved. The incidental nature of Aristotle’s utility based friendship, played itself out in the short lived relationship with Alice. Harriet closed her book, sad for the loss of the relationship, but with a newfound sense of resolution.
The following day, Harriet excitedly awaited the cheerleader tryouts that were to be held that afternoon. She had been anticipating this day for months. Not only would she have a chance to join the squad, but she had the opportunity to find new friends. Sure enough, Harriet became one of Carrot-Top High’s cheerleaders and made fast friends with all of the squad. Harriet was flattered by the attention that she received, as everyone crooned over her cutely curled whiskers, and her quick wit. However, one day while attempting to perfect her backflip, Harriet tragically plummeted to the ground and snapped off all of the whiskers on the left side of her cheek. The girls rushed over to see if she was alright. They stood in horror, gaping at the unsightly new appearance of Harriet. They started to giggle. They turned away slowly, and never talked to Harriet again.
Harriet found solace with her companions: Ben, Jerry and Aristotle. Picking up where she left off,...