Those of us who count our wealth in friends cherish each friend we make and mourn each friend we lose. We most definitely feel sorry for those who don’t have friends or who don’t know how to make friends. Throughout our lives, we have been told that in order “to have a friend, we must be a friend.” Most of us have followed that rule and will continue to do so because we need those friends to keep us in balance. We are aware that having a friend causes us to accept the responsibility of being a friend, meaning we will need to be selfless rather than selfish, kind rather than unkind and dependable rather than undependable. That list could go on as we name the traits we need to develop if we want friends.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American writer, wrote an essay entitled “Friendship” in which he explained the meaning of the word and the qualities involved in the state of being friends. That was required reading when I was a junior at THS although I had read it earlier because friendship was important to me from earliest childhood. We can but hope it is still required reading so that our young people have a good foundation in forming such relationships.
We should “feel pride in a friend’s accomplishments,” according to Emerson and to almost any thinking being. Seeing a friend succeeding at a task or being recognized for various activities should make us proud to call that person our friend. We should most definitely take the time to compliment that friend for those accomplishments and let him know how much we appreciate him.
Emerson also wrote, “When friends are real, they are not glass, threads, or frost work, but the solidest thing we know. They are the people we can call on in times of need and who can call on us as well. They most definitely are not weak, nor can we allow ourselves to be weak when they need our help. They make us stronger than we think we can be and more caring than we are aware that we can be. They give us reasons to continue being their friend and reasons to continue enjoying life.
“A friend may well be reckoned a masterpiece of nature.” Emerson surely described such people accurately. Friends really are the blue-ribbon prizes in our lives and make us stand a little taller in their presence. They let us know the meaning of love, trust, and respect and cause us to reach out to offer a helping hand whenever they call. This woman from Ima cannot imagine life without friends!