What is the definition of ‘friend’? My Heinemann Australian Dictionary says,’ any person whom one knows and likes well.’ While this sums it up, I feel a friend can be so much more.
There are many quotes about different aspects of friendship. Some of them are cynical but the ones that inspire me are the positive ones. I value my friends and feel uplifted after spending time with them.
Elbert Hubbard, an American artist, writer and philosopher said, ‘The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.’ A friend accepts you as you are, both the personality traits they consider positive and those they view as negative. No one will agree with everything you say and do. A friend likes you anyway.
Walter Winchell said, ‘A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.’ When life gets tough we all need the support of true friends. Some people are quite happy to be around you when things are going well but they haven’t got the fortitude to be there to support you in bad times.
Sometimes we just need a friend who will listen to us. We may not be asking that person to solve our problems or tell us what to do. We just want someone to be there. There are times when we need a friend to hold us while we cry.
Having friends around helps us get through the bad times. Oprah Winfrey expressed this sentiment by saying, ‘Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.’
It is great to share ideas, hopes and dreams with a friend, knowing they will listen. Their dreams may be totally different but they will support you. I have friends who aren’t interested in taking up writing as a hobby but they will ask me how my writing is going. They encourage me because they know writing is important to me. I take an interest in the things they are passionate about. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, ‘friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.’
I would be lost without my friends. Hubert Humphrey, a U.S. vice president in the 1960s said, ‘The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.’