A genuine friend
considers you just as another human being,
as a brother or sister, and shows affection on that level, regardless
of whether you are rich or poor, in a high position or low position.
That is a genuine friend.
the Dalai Lama
is just as much about being a friend as it is about having a
friend. Personally, I've never been very good at
friendship (though I have some friends who would argue that
point). For the most part, it's due to the fact that
my family moved constantly when I was young, so my parents
never had any significant friendships to model to us and I
never had any long-term friendships, always being the
"new kid" who didn't know anyone at all. And
whenever I did make friends, we moved soon after, so I lost
dynamic in my past has caused me to truly value any
friendship that I have, because I know how precious it
is. It's also allowed me, though, to realize how much
effort friendship takes, how much effort it takes to
maintain healthy relationships with those whom we call
friends. It isn't unpleasant effort, of course, but it
does take commitment and consistency on our part. It
also takes acceptance of the other person as a completely
unique individual--not just someone who agrees with what I
say, does the things I do, and/or shares religious or
political or philosophical beliefs.
never doing anyone a favor by being their friend. My
fellow human beings have a right to be treated with dignity
and respect, just as they are. And if I'm fortunate
enough to call them friends, then so much the better!
When I do have friends, though, much of the responsibility
for maintaining the friendship is mine, and the more
seriously I take that responsibility, and the more accepting
I am of my friends just as they are, the stronger my
friendships will be. And strong friendships are a
wonderful part of life.