Who's need, anyway?
September 27, 2012 7:27 PM Subscribe
"A friend in need is a friend indeed."
posted by Chocolate Pickle to Society & Culture (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ben Franklin penned that aphorism in Good Richard's Almanac, back before the Revolution. I've always interpreted it to mean that if someone is there to help you when you're in trouble, it demonstrates that they are a true friend. So you are the one "in need".
But recently it occurred to me that there's an entirely different, and far more cynical, way to interpret that: when someone else is in trouble, and wants something from you, then they will be very friendly to you, at least until they get it. So they are the one "in need".
What I'm asking is whether there's any definitive evidence of which meaning ol' Ben intended? Or did he mean both?