These days many people I respect are arguing that in 2017 we will have an urgent need for old and new friends. This appeal to a renewed fraternity brings to my mind dear friends, like my “other self.”
I never call Pantelis by his name. I always call him “teacher,” using the demotic Greek vocative daskale. Whether we are alone or with other people, I address him only as daskale.
He is a teacher to me for several reasons. First, being the son of teachers, he is an excellent music teacher himself. Second, as a committed collaborative pianist, he educates his musical partners. Next, he happily shares with people his impressive cultural learning. Above all, his embodied senses of self, his practices of identity formation are a wonderful lesson in the arts of living. Thus I learn from his artistic ethics of conduct.
I started publishing this blog two years ago today as an ascesis in Aristotelian friendship, and I look forward to continuing in 2017 my dialogue with a true daskalos and comrade, Dr. Pantelis Polychronidis.
December 25, 2016
P.S. On January 3, 2017, the day this post is published, the NY Times has an article on friendship in “Well,” its health section, which stresses: “With strong evidence that friendship does, indeed, help save lives and promote health, social workers and researchers wish we could pay more attention to its central role.”