Views to ponder: That’s what friends are for

by Admin-Phmp

By Henrylito D. Tacio
BIRDS of the same feather, so goes a popular saying, flock together.  In other words, people get to know you better by the kind of friends you go out with.

Just “what is a friend?” asked Aristotle.  He described a friend as “a single soul dwelling in two bodies.”  In simpler terms, a friend is your alter ego.  Father Jerome Cummings defines a friend as someone who knows you, but loves you anyway.  “A friend is a person who does his knocking before he enters instead of after he leaves,” Irene Keepin says.  

A person without a friend is like a day without the sun or night without the moon.  Ecclesiastes 4:9 reminds: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work.  If one falls down, his friend can help him up.  But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”
There are several reasons why you need a friend.  K. Alvin Pitt shares: “A true friend is one in whom we have confidence and to whom we will listen.” Henry Ford contends: “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”
“A true friend is someone who is there for you when he’d rather be anywhere else,” observed Len Wein.  “Friendship makes prosperity more brilliant, and lightens adversity by dividing and sharing it,” wrote Cicero. 

“Love is rarer than genius itself. And friendship is rarer than love,” said Charles Peguy.  “A valuable friend is one who’ll tell you what you should be told, even it if offends you,” said Frank Clark.
“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson.  “One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives,” added Euripides.  Thomas Fuller agreed: “A good friend is my nearest relation.”  Robert Louis Stevenson subscribed: “A friend is a present you give yourself.”

According to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, friends are one of the reasons why life is worth living for.  “The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers, and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth an inhabited garden,” he pointed out.
“I keep my friends as misers do their treasure, because, of all the things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship,” penned Pietro Aretino.  H.G. Bohn agrees: “Friendships multiply joys and divide griefs.”  Or as Mark Twain puts it: “Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.”
One of the most quoted statements I have in my book of quotable quotes is this: “A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” That’s what a real friend is all about.
Here’s another memorable quotation from Franklin Owen: “Friendship is loyal.  A real friend is loyal through thick and thin.  He will stand by you in the hour of need.  He will help you when you are down.  He will celebrate with you when you are up.   Friendship is patience with one’s friend when he is right, patience with him even when he is wrong.  Friendship is rankles.  One’s true friends are totally without regard to the station.  Friendship is helpful.  Friendships form among people who strengthen one another.”

Friends come and go.  You had friends when you were growing up; generally, they were your neighbors.  You also had friends when you were in school (elementary, high school and college); definitely, they were your classmates. 

Now that you are professional, you find friends from the office you are working with.  Yes, friends come in different sizes, forms, attainments, and characters.  We can never replace a friend, someone once said.  When a man is fortunate enough to have several, he finds they are all different.  No one has a double in friendship.
A wise man once said: Three men are my friends: he that loves me, he that hates me, and he that is indifferent to me.  He who loves me teaches me tenderness.  He who hates me teaches me caution.  He who is indifferent to me teaches me self-reliance.
“True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost,” Henry Ward Beecher quipped.  As such, “friendships should be nurtured, faithfully, lest they become fractured though neglect, or cease altogether,” to quote the words of C. Neil Strait.
In Locking Arms, Stu Weber tried to recall the powerful story coming out of World War I of the deep friendship of two soldiers in the trenches:
Two buddies were serving together in the mud and misery of that wretched European stalemate.  Month after month, they lived out their lives in the trenches, in the cold and the mud, under fire and under orders.
From time to time, one side or the other would rise up out of the trenches, fling their bodies against the opposing line and slink back to lick their wounds, bury their dead, and wait to do it all over again.  In the process, friendships were forged in misery.  Two soldiers became particularly close.  Day after day, night after night, terror after terror, they talked of life, of families, of hopes, of what they would do when (and if) they returned from this horror.
On one more fruitless charge, Jim fell, severely wounded.  His friend, Bill, made it back to the relative safety of the trenches.  Meanwhile, Jim was laying and suffering beneath the night flares.  Between the trenches.  Alone.
The shelling continued.  The danger was at its peak.  Between the trenches was no place to be.  Still, Bill wished to reach his friends, to comfort him, to offer what encouragement only friends can offer.  The officer in charge refused to let Bill leave the trench.  It was simply too dangerous.  As he turned his back, however, Bill went over the top.  Ignoring the smell of cordite in the air, the concussion of incoming rounds, and the pounding in his chest, Bill made it to Jim.
Sometimes later he managed to get Jim back to the safety of the trenches.  Too late.  His friend was gone.  The somewhat self-righteous officer, seeing Jims body, cynically asked Bill if it had been worth the risk.  Bill’s response was without hesitation.
Yes, sir, it was, he said.  My friend’s last words made it more than worth it.  He looked up at me and said, I knew you’d come.

That’s what friends are for! 

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