I asked a wise old Filipino woman what friendship meant to her. She responded quickly, "a friend is someone who comes running when you need her." I pondered her answer for some time and the word "running" captured my thoughts. Most of us would probably help another in difficulty. But for whom could we conceive our response to be eager, devoid of self-interest, immediate and total self-giving? It could only be for those whom we term friends.
Why is this so? What is the difference in how we react to people and they to us?
For the intimacy of this relationship there probably is a chemistry that must exist, very difficult to describe, but it is there, a uniqueness of "fit". There must be trust, at times blind, but is as unflinching as human confidence can be. There must be exclusivity, a quality of specialness that sets it apart from all other encounters.
Friendship must be fulfilling - in joy, in sorrow, in disappointment. It must enrich both parties. It must ennoble.
A pearl of great price; indeed worth all the risks, a friend is a treasure.
So long as we love, we serve.
So long as we are loved by others,
I would say we were indispensable;
and no person is useless while he or she
has a friend.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)