friendship - friendship 2

You must act in your friend's
interest whether it pleases
your friend or not; the object of
love is to serve, not to win.

Woodrow Wilson


A word, a smile, and the stranger at your elbow may become an interesting friend.  All through life we deny ourselves stimulating fellowship because we are too proud or too afraid to unbend.

D.C. Peattie


True friends see who we really are, hear our words and the feelings behind them, hold us in the safe harbor of their embrace, and accept us as we are. Good friends mirror our best back to us, forgive us our worst, and believe we will evolve into wise, wacky, and wonderful old people.  Dear friends give us their undivided attention, encourage us to laugh, and entice us into silliness.  And we do the same for them.  A true friend gives us the courage to be ourselves because he or she is with us always and in all ways.  In the safety of such friendships, our hearts can fully open.

Sue Patton Thoele

No friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever.

Francois Mauriac


It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends.  But to befriend those who regard themselves as your enemies is the quintessence of all religion.  The other is merely business.

Mohandas Gandhi

No people are happier on this earth than those who have friends with whom they can talk, with whom they can live, with whom they can have a friendly chat.


Befriending the life in others is sometimes a complex matter.  There are times when
we offer our strength and protection, but these are usually only temporary measures.
The greatest blessing we offer others may be the belief we have in their struggle
for freedom, the courage to support and accompany them as they determine
for themselves the strength that will become their refuge and the foundation for
their lives.  I think it is especially important to believe in someone at a time when
they cannot yet believe in themselves.  Then your belief will become their lifeline.

Rachel Naomi Remen


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If you make friends with people who are without
character, your own character will tarnish as well.


Friendship inspires and enriches the lives of those who come together.

Vimala Thakar

Friendship is so much more than a word, a handshake, and a smile.
It's the ability to see the inner beauty in someone.

Vonda K. Van Dyke

It is not what you give your friends, but what you are willing
to give them, that determines the quality of your friendship.

Mary Dixon Thayer

Friendships are those fruits gathered from trees planted
in the rich soil of love, and nurtured with tender
care and understanding.  These trees are
never subjected to drought.

Alma L. Weixelbaum


Among friends one has the privilege of saying nothing; the civility
consists in the assumption that one's silence will be civilly understood.
I can imagine a small gathering of friends who say nothing all evening:
they recoil from saying anything that the others don't want to hear;
and their silence would be the subtlest courtesy.

Allen Tate




The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile,
nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to
us when we discover that someone else believes in us and is willing to trust us.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen
by adversity, as the water that flows from the spring
cannot congeal in winter.

James F. Cooper

Taking friendships for granted is one of the surest ways of
ending them.  Unless nourished, they tend to wither and die.
Unless we earnestly desire its continuance we should never
start a friendship any more than we would a love affair.

Alice H. Rice


Treat your friends as you do your pictures,
and place them in their best light.

Jennie Jerome Churchill

The first step in the art of friendship is to be a friend, then making friends takes care of itself.  To be a friend we should start by being friends to ourselves, by being true to our highest and best and by aligning ourselves with the enduring values of human life that make for growth and progress.

To be a friend we should strive to be "like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land," to be a source of refuge and strength to those who walk in darkness.

To be a friend we should believe in the inherent goodness of people and in their potential greatness; we should treat people in a big spirit, expectant of a noble response.

To be a friend we should strive to lift people up, not cast them down; to encourage, not discourage; to set an example that will be an inspiration to others.

To be a friend we should be sensitively responsive to the dreams and aims of others and should show sincere appreciation for the contributions others make to the enrichment of our lives.

To be a friend we should practice the companionship of silence and the magic of words that our speech may build and not destroy, help and not hinder.

To be a friend we should close our eyes to the faults of others and open them to our own.

To be a friend we should not attempt to reform or reprimand, but should strive only to make others happy if we can.

To be a friend we should be ourselves; we should be done with hypocrisy, artificiality and pretense, we should meet and mingle with people in quiet simplicity and humility.

To be a friend we should be tolerant, we should have an understanding heart and a forgiving nature, knowing that all people stumble now and then, and that those who never made a mistake never accomplished anything.

To be a friend we should join hands with all people who are working for great principles, great purposes and great causes; we should put our shoulders to the wheel to help achieve common goals.

To be a friend we should go more than halfway with our fellow people; we should greet others first and not wait to be greeted; we should radiate a spirit of overflowing good will.

To be a friend we should remember that we are human magnets; that like attracts like, and that what we give we get.

To be a friend we should recognize that no person knows all the answers, and that we should add each day to our knowledge of how to live the friendly way.

Wilferd Arlan Peterson

Articles and book excerpts on friendship:

Being There, Coming through      Janice Hain

The real test of friendship is:  Can you literally do nothing
with the other person?  Can you enjoy together those
moments of life that are utterly simple?  They are the
moments people look back on at the end of life and number
as their most sacred experiences.

Eugene Kennedy

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born
until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.

Anaïs Nin


Your friends will know you better in the first minute you meet
than your acquaintances will know you in a thousand years.

Richard Bach


This was no friendship, to forsake your friend,
To promise your support and at the end
Abandon him--this was sheer treachery.
Friend follows friend to hell and blasphemy--
When sorrow comes one's true friends are found;
In times of joy ten thousand gather round.

Farid ud-Din Attar


If I had to choose between betraying my country and
betraying my friend, I hope I should have
the guts to betray my country.

E.M. Forster


One friend in a life is much, two are many, three are hardly possible.

Henry Brooks Adams

A true friend is the most precious of all possessions and the one we take the least thought about acquiring.

La Rochefoucauld

True happiness consists not in the multitude
of friends, but in the worth and choice.

Ben Jonson


friendship - friendship 2

Upon the Sand
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

All love that has not friendship for its base
Is like a mansion built upon the sand.
Though brave its walls as any in the land,
And its tall turrets lift their heads in grace;
Though skilful and accomplished artists trace
Most beautiful designs on every hand,
And gleaming statues in dim niches stand,
And fountains play in some flow'r-hidden place:
Yet, when from the frowning east a sudden gust
Of adverse fate is blown, or sad rains fall,
Day in, day out, against its yielding wall,
Lo! the fair structure crumbles to the dust.
Love, to endure life's sorrow and earth's woe,
Needs friendship's solid mason-work below.

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion,
in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.

Thomas Jefferson

Perhaps the greatest rudenesses of our time come not from the callousness
of strangers, but from the solicitousness of intimates who believe that their
frank criticisms are always welcome, and who feel free to “be themselves”
with those they love, which turns out to mean being their worst selves,
while saving their best behavior for strangers.

Judith Martin


The friendship which shrinks from telling the truth and cannot bear
to cause pain when justice demands it, does not command as high
a quality of admiration as the one which is absolutely just, frank,
and sincere.  No great friendship can rest upon pretense
or deception.  Sincerity is the very core of friendship.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living


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Friendship is a measure of our ability to love and be loved.  Our desire
is to feel close and share our life with at least a few others.
Yet some people confuse the number of people they see with friendship.
People build closeness by giving friendship priority, by being honest and
showing their feelings.  I like to call it being transparent.  They communicate
warmth, touch, talk about their affection, give each other space, allow change,
limit expectations, listen, and offer loyalty and trust.
They avoid trying to control or manipulate their friends.  They don't
criticize and they don't become dependent.
It takes practice to be a good friend, and we all make mistakes.  Friendship,
like love, is something you do, something you give that comes back to you.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey

True friendship reveals itself in time--not only in the sense of time
spent together getting to know one another, but also in the sense
that it is through the ravages as well as the easier times in life that
we come to see, as they say, "who our friends are."
   Loyalty to friends is easy when nothing rotten is in the air.  But
when rumors are flying, or innuendos, or betrayals--that is when
the quality of true friendship becomes the stuff of heroic response.
To give a friend the benefit of the doubt, to listen with depth and
compassion and nonjudgment to his or her story, to remain an
approving friend even when you do not agree with a particular
position, to be truly loyal in an age where loyalty is so easily
relinquished--these are opportunities to use friendship as a means
of righteous participation in life.

Marianne Williamson

If you go out looking for friends, you're going to find they are
very scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you'll find them everywhere.

Zig Ziglar


Somehow, when the going gets rough and our protective covering
is stripped away, close, tender moments come about
more freely, and lasting friendships are formed.

Jere Kessler Corven


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In the so-called First World there are many people who allegedly have
a lot of friends, but actually they never spend time with them.  They never
see their supposed friends, but communicate with them only via mobile
and computer screens.  People have contact with things, but not with other
humans. Please don't get me wrong.  Of course, some progress is good.
But inner contentment depends on something else.  We have to find the right balance.


There is nothing I would not do for those who are really
my friends.  I have no notion of loving people by halves.

Jane Austen


If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship we must
love friends for their sake rather than our own.

Charlotte Bronte


Friends lift our spirits, keep us honest, stick with us when times are tough,
and make mundane tasks enjoyable.  No wonder we want to make friends.

Em Griffin

Friends. . . they cherish each other's hopes.  They are
kind to each other's dreams.

Henry David Thoreau


Secret forces are bringing compatible spirits together.  If one
permits oneself to be led by this ineffable attraction, good fortune
will come his or her way. When deep friendships exist, formalities
and elaborate preparations are not necessary.

I Ching



Daily Meditations, Year One
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