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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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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

Friendship is mutual blackmail elevated to the level of love.

— Robin Morgan

There is an energy field between humans. And, when we reach out in passion, it is met with an answering passion and changes the relationship forever.

— Rollo May

Friendship is something that creates equality and mutuality, not a reward for finding equality or a way of intensifying existing mutuality.

— Rowan D. Williams

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone. People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.

— Sam Levenson

Friendship is a sheltering tree.

— Samuel Coleridge

Always set high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.

— Samuel Johnson

There can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity.

— Samuel Johnson

Yes’m, old friends is always best, ‘less you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an old one out of.

— Sarah Orne Jewett

Consult your friend on all things, especially on those which respect yourself. His counsel may then be useful where your own self-love might impair your judgment.

— Seneca

Never presume to know a person based on the one dimensional window of the internet. A soul can’t be defined by critics, enemies or broken ties with family or friends. Neither can it be explained by posts or blogs that lack facial expressions, tone or insight into the person’s personality and intent. Until people “get that”, we will forever be a society that thinks Beautiful Mind was a spy movie and every stranger is really a friend on Facebook.

— Shannon L. Alder

Friendship
I’ve discovered a way to stay friends forever —
There’s really nothing to it.
I simply tell you what to do
And you do it!

— Shel Silverstein

The verb “to love” in Persian is “to have a friend.” “I love you” translated literally is “I have you as a friend,” and “I don’t like you” simply means “I don’t have you as a friend.”

— Shusha Guppy

The verb ‘to love’ in Persian is ‘to have a friend.’ ‘I love you’ translated literally is ‘I have you as a friend,’ and ‘I don’t like you’ simply means ‘I don’t have you as a friend.’

— Shusha Guppy

One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, and compassion.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sign that you will recognize it.

— Simone Weil

The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say, ‘What are you going through?’

— Simone Weil

Be slow to fall into friendship, but when you are in, continue firm and constant.

— Socrates

Crocodiles are easy. They try to kill and eat you. People are harder. Sometimes they pretend to be your friend first.

— Steve Irwin

The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor. In fact, the very notion of a self who is trying to free her/himself is a delusion. We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness.

— Tara Brach

Time doesn’t take away from friendship, nor does separation.

— Tennessee Williams, Memoirs

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform.

— Theodore H. White

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine.

— Thomas Jefferson

A civilized nation can have no enemies, and one cannot draw a line across a map, a line that doesn’t even exist in nature and say that the ugly enemy lives on the one side, and good friends live on the other.

— Thor Heyerdahl

I’m a controversial figure. My friends either dislike me or hate me.

— Toni Morrison

Close friends are truly life’s treasures. Sometimes they know us better than we know ourselves. With gentle honesty, they are there to guide and support us, to share our laughter and our tears. Their presence reminds us that we are never really alone.

— Vincent van Gogh
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