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Friendship is the art and craft of making and keeping friends, of nurturing a mutual relationship with another human being. Friends are comrades in the journey of life, providing support, understanding, and fellowship. Below you’ll read what some have thought about the pleasures and challenges of being a friend.

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Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.

— Melody Beattie

He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.

— Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

— Moshe Dayan

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.

— Muhammad Ali

I have three kinds of friends: those who love me, those who pay no attention to me, and those who detest me.

— Nicolas Chamfort

To find a friend one must close one eye; To keep him, two.

— Norman Douglas

I have no trouble with my enemies. But my goddam friends,…they are the ones that keep me walking the floor nights.

— Oscar Levant

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.

— Oscar Wilde

When you have made good friends with yourself, your situation will be more friendly, too.

— Pema Chödrön

Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance.

— Rabindranath Tagore

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.

— Rachel Carson

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…. A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.

— Rachel Naomi Remen

The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The purpose of life seems to be to acquaint a man with himself and whatever science or art or course of action he engages in reacts upon and illuminates the recesses of his own mind. Thus friends seem to be only mirrors to draw out and explain to us ourselves; and that which draws us nearer our fellow man, is, that the deep Heart in one, answers the deep Heart in another, — that we find we have (a common Nature) — one life which runs through all individuals, and which is indeed Divine.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend is one before whom I may think aloud.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

A friend may well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only way to have a friend is to be one.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

The highest compact we can make with our fellow is, — ‘Let there be truth between us two forever more.’

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

A political victory, a rise in rents, the recovery of your sick, or return of your absent friend, or some other quite external event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friendship should be surrounded with ceremonies and respects, and not crushed into corners. Friendship requires more time than poor busy men can usually command.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

— Robert Frost

We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

How does one keep from ‘growing old inside’? Surely only in community. The only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people…. Taking community seriously not only gives us the companionship we need, it also relieves us of the notion that we are indispensable.

— Robert McAfee Brown
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