What Good Are Friends?
Everyone speaks of the need for friends and the role they can play in one's life, but an anonymous writer put it this way: "Friends in your life are like pillars on your porch. Sometimes they hold you up, and sometimes they lean on you. Sometimes it's just enough to know they're standing by." Elisabeth Foley points out that friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief, and that the most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
Without any doubt, the greatest friend-maker and the greatest human-relations principle going is the Golden Rule, which simply says you should treat other people like you want to be treated. Friendship requires many things -- unselfishness, genuinely caring for the other person and listening when he or she needs to talk. Sometimes just being there, particularly in times of grief when nobody knows what to say, can make a difference. The fact that you're there to share a friend's grief is what counts.
We want to share our grief and our joy, and if friends were there for those two occasions only, they would be invaluable to us. I'm especially pleased and grateful for the fact that my best friend is my wife.
When I enjoy a unique experience in my travels, I invariably think to myself, "If she were here it would be even nicer!" When I'm at home and have had a tough day or am not feeling well (which, fortunately, is not often), having her near is very comforting and increases my enjoyment of living. All of this is to say that a friendship relationship is a priceless one and should be cherished, cultivated and nurtured. Take that approach and I'll see you at the top!
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