I think that this cute quote from Winnie the Pooh sums up our feelings about friends. Friendship provides you the comfort zone when things go uphill, downhill, or nowhere. When a friend puts an arm around you, the sun comes out, and the world looks like a happier place.
The Early Stages of Friendship
The first brush with friendship happens soon after birth. Around the age of four or five, children begin to grasp the concept of friendship. They seek companionship of other children. They learn interpersonal skills like communication, sharing, exchange, and interaction to help them blend in social groups. Parents and teachers play an important role in teaching children how to make friends. Making friends is an important activity for the child's psychological development.
As the child grows, her understanding about friendship goes through a metamorphosis. She learns to connect with people who share similar values and beliefs. Hence, as her views change, so do her friends.
So Who Really Is a Friend?
Can there be one type of friendship alone or are different shades of friendship? Is friendship necessary for human existence? Can we find a definition where one size fits all?
In my search for a definition of friendship, I turned to a collection of the best friendship quotations. One definition was by the oft-quoted Kahlil Gibran. The Lebanese-American poet wrote, "Your friend is your needs answered."
Think about it. A friend fills the void in your life. From sharing funny moments during a boring history lecture, to listening to you cry your heart out when you break up with your sweetheart, to sharing a drink following success or failure, a friend is always around. Have you ever heard the theme song of the popular TV sitcom, Friends? The song captured the essence of friendship. "I'll be there for you," is an unspoken promise between true friends.
A Promise of Honesty
Friendship demands honesty. When your friend presents the stark naked truth without mincing words, you know that your back is covered. Solomon Ibn Gabriel famously said, "My friend is he who will tell me my faults in private." No cloak of dishonesty, no wishy-washy criticisms.
True friends are not afraid to hold the cracked mirror in front of your face. But they also love you unconditionally, and you are confident that your friends will never abandon you. The cord that binds you cannot be broken by a whimsical tantrum in a moment of madness.
A Friend Is a Joy Forever
All the riches and wealth in the world cannot give you the happiness that friendship can give you. Can you imagine going through life without the company of your friends? No one to share your happiness when you win a trophy at school. Nobody to comfort you when are unwell. Sure, you can keep a dog or a bird as a pet for company. But will your pet stop you from drinking and driving when you have had a bit too much? Even when you are chided for your behavior, you will feel glad that your friend truly cares for you.
Good Friends Are a Blessing
A good friend is an asset that cannot be measured in numbers. American poet Emily Dickinson wrote, "My friends are my estate." If you are fortunate enough to have one or more true friends, count your blessings. On Friendship Day, celebrate your closest pals. You only realize the value of true friendship when others have abandoned you.
Blood Is Thicker Than Water But the Bond of Friendship Is Rock Solid
French poet Jacques Delille once wrote, "Fate chooses our relatives, we choose our friends." Though you cannot choose your family, you can choose your friends. It is a fact that friends are a strong influence in our life. So, if you choose your friends wisely, you can improve your life to achieve greatness. However, if you keep bad company, nobody can save you from self-destruction.
Can friendship happen only with people of similar class, creed, race, or religion? Is friendship permeable through social, physical, emotional, and mental barriers? While most people enjoy the company of like-minded individuals, friendship is not restricted by any barrier. You would commonly find friendship between people who belong to different ethnic backgrounds, religion, race, or gender. Such friendship is honest and real.
When Friends Fall Out
Sadly, changing circumstances test even the best of friends. Friendship stands on the three pillars of trust, honesty, and love. If any of these pillars wobble, the edifice is in danger. The loss of a friend may cause irreparable damage. It will not be easy to move on. One particularly heartfelt quotation by Pam Brown highlights the sorrow of loss, "Odd how much it hurts when a friend moves away -- and leaves behind only silence."
Do Not Let Ego Ruin a Friendship
Harsh words, neglect, and disrespect can mar friendship. Do not let go of your friends, if you can help it. If harsh words have been exchanged, and you are feeling hurt, wait for the anger to dissipate before trying to patch things up. Put aside your ego and make the first move. Your effort could make all the difference. If your friend does not respond to your initiative, maybe it is time to move on. Take consolation in the words of St. Jerome, "The friendship that can cease has never been real." Need advice on how to tackle an upset buddy? Find insight in these pages of Friendship Day quotes.
Celebrating Friendship Day
Is it Friendship Day already? Make your friend feel extra-special on this day. Order a Friendship Day cake, and write your friend a personalized Friendship Day message on the cake. One of my personal favorites is attributed to A. A. Milne's lovable bear Winnie the Pooh. It goes, "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you." Convey your feelings with your most cherished friends on Friendship Day.
Raise a Toast on Friendship Day
On Friendship Day, raise a toast to your dear friends, who have stuck by your side. Reminisce the wonderful moments you spent with your friends, and how they changed your life. On Friendship Day, reach out to more and more people and build a circle of friends. Consider yourself lucky to be surrounded by friends, as they are more valuable than all the wealth in the world.