Tag Archives: friendship

Do You Truly Practice the Meaning of Friendship?

Do you truly practice the meaning of friendship? What is a friendship? The philosopher Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.”

Friendship necessitates an inquiring mind; for others and for ourselves. This does not involve sticking our nose into someone else’s business or forcing our opinions on others.

It means the creative use of the imagination, not the destructive abuse of it. It is the eye of a healthy self image, the soul of friendship. It takes inspired imagination to help others.

Rich imagination is not an exclusive gift of geniuses. It is potentially in all of us. If, daily, you long to improve yourself, to use your creative powers, you will seek enriching ideas in your mind; and you will find them. Perhaps you will share them in friendship.

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity” ~ Khalil Gibran

Each day resolve, in your imagination, to be a good friend. What can you do for those who you like? What can you say to communicate your brotherly feeling? Put yourself in the other fellow’s shoes; what consideration would he appreciate? “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” ~ Confucius

The practice of friendship is the practice of eloquence; this eloquence needs no words since it implies an understanding of your fellow man. There is eloquence in the performance of a friendly act, done impulsively, without thought of a reward. There is eloquence in a brotherly fellow-feeling, a fellow-feeling of identification, of sharing the human condition. There is eloquence in meeting others halfway, perhaps more than halfway.

“Friendship is like a garden. It is beautiful when it is watered and tended to with love, care, hugs, tears and cheers, but it will be withered up and die if left untouched.”

The ability to practice friendship does not belong to a few; it belongs to all of us, if we but make it one of our daily goals. Friendship requires the highest degree of courage. This is not often recognized, but it is nonetheless true. A good friend must be a courageous person.

We consider a man courageous when he risks his life cutting his way through snake or crocodile infested forests. We consider courageous the fireman who plunges through smoke to save a child’s life or the policeman who pursues a dangerous, armed criminal.

These are acts of bravery; some are also actions for the benefit of the community. These people are heroes of our civilization, protectors of civilized life, who rise up in times of crisis.

Yet courageous does not require an apparent crisis. One can be brave during the ordinary twenty-four hour day with no blatant dangers, but with variety of small dangers lurking behind the minutes. It takes real courage to attain the stature of friend to your brothers and sisters on earth. You show courage when you meet life every day with self-control. You do not attack a man for the colour of his skin, the size of his noise, his values and beliefs, or if he is more convincing in an argument than you are. You fight off, conceit, malice, and disdain; you refuse to find fault with others to support your own sense of inadequacy. “We were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us, and wealth classified us”

Friendship means we must courageously move toward our fellow men, not retreat from them as in passive living. Friendship forbids indifference toward others. It means that we stand up and fight not only for our beliefs but the beliefs of others. Only a brave can enter into such demanding relationship as these. “A true friend unbosoms freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” ~ William Penn

Let your energy flow away from yourself to others less fortunate, helping them willingly with your compassionate hands. Have the courage to keep moving toward life, toward people, in spite of problems, frustrations, defeats. Be strong enough to give to others in a spirit of equality. Be determined enough so that you can overcome your negative feelings; if you can’t, you will not be a friend to yourself or to others. Friendship is a reaffirmation of the life instincts; it is the personification of fighting life force.

Friendship is an exciting voyage of discovery of the good in yourself and in others. It is a daily search that never ends, a search for giving in yourself and in others; a full time job.

“Shine your soul with the same egoless humility as the rainbow and no matter where you go in this world or the next, love will find you, attend you, and bless you.” ~ Aberjhani


The Need of Deep Friendship Between People

The need of deep friendship between people, is an urgent need, one that has always been with human beings, as far back as historians can reach in their accounts of human life on this planet.

More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher wrote: “What is friendship? A single soul dwelling in two bodies”

In Apocrypha: Ecclesiastes 6:16 we find: “A faithful friend is the medicine of life”. Better than medicine, really. Medicine is for those already ill; friendship is basically for the well to enjoy, a joy to keep them well throughout their lifetime.

Life without friendship is like cereal without milk; there can be no sense of completion. Real friendship is subtle, trusting interrelationship whose worth is too great to be measured.

In the word of America’s first President, George Washington, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”

Another great President, Thomas Jefferson, once compared friendship to wine. Yes like good wine, friendship can give you a lift. Like wine, it lasts. Inclement conditions do not destroy it.

And as Jefferson points out, it is “restorative”; it renews a person wrestling with life’s problems, refreshing him so that, given a good night’s sleep, he can call once again upon his resources to go toward the battle of life.

It is sad that many of us become disappointed in the results of friendship that instead of enriching us they leave us wounded, causing us to think less of others and more of ourselves. We seldom think that perhaps we have been at fault. It usually seems to be the other person.

Friendship is not what we take from others, but what we give to others, not so much in material gifts as the gifts of compassion, sincerity, and understanding. It is instilling courage in someone else. It is the transfer of some of our self-respect to others. It is sharing of our confidence in ourselves with others. It is the gift of what we are to others.

“Good friends help you to find important things when you have lost them…your smile, your hope, and your courage.” ~ Doe Zantamata

We must remember others, meeting them more than half way, giving the best that we are. Only in this way will we be entitled to receive friendship in return.

We must constantly work at repairing our friendship for others. And we must constantly work at repairing our friendship for ourselves. Because to be friendly to others we must be friendly to ourselves. We must always be ready to repair the damage which our failures inflict upon our self-image. We must rise above these failures to maintain our self-respect, which is basic to our respect for others.

“Love yourself first in order to endlessly love others.” ~ Debasish Mridha

Only then our friendship have true value. Only then can it be humble, free of boasting. Only when we respect ourselves can we feel the gift of humility, to others and to ourselves.

If you know the art of friendship, you stay alive. You put a smile of contentment on your self-image. You look forward, not backward. Every day is a new day in which you focus on life. You concentrate on your assets for the new day, refusing to let fear of failure side-track you.

You have foresight. You are a part of human family; you become what you are in relation to others. You expand in your capacity for love in a vast communal sense which incorporate the acceptance of human fallibility. You understand that your neighbour can make errors that distort his perspective; he can mistakenly feel that you are his enemy, not his friend. You forgive.

“It is important that we forgive ourselves for making mistakes. We need to learn from our errors and move on.” ~ Steve Maraboli

The whole world is looking for friendship. Everyone seeks forgiveness as ardently as he seeks food and shelter. Yet often we are ashamed to forgive as we are ashamed to make mistake, as if it were a terrible weakness to make mistake or forgive. But this shame destroys us, damages us. It is unhealthy to be ashamed of error in yourself and stubborn not to forgive error in someone else.

The capacity to forgive should be as great as the capacity to survive because you cannot attain true stature in living unless you make as much as habit of forgiving as of eating.

To really get alone with people requires the compassion of forgiveness. To err is human loss; to forgive is human achievement. But, first you must forgive yourself so that you can accept yourself as a human being, as somebody with dignity.

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr