Your Thoughts on Friendship

Rev. Mark Connolly

Almost every time I write an article for Spirituality for Today, I try to share my thoughts with you on whatever the subject is. The article that I write is based on my own education, background and life experiences. In this edition I would like you to share a few thoughts on a subject that should be meaningful to both of us. It is the subject of friendship, solid friendships. Here are some of the qualities that I think should contribute to the cultivation of a solid friendship.

Before I start I know, as you probably know, that a solid friendship can be an antidote for loneliness or depression or even boredom. But it should be just more than an antidote for these problems. What are the qualities that lead to a solid friendship?

First of all, friendship must be genuine. In friendships we reveal what we are and who we are capable of becoming. Friendships demand that we reveal ourselves without pretenses or masks, without affection or deception. G.K. Chesterton knowing the risks involved in cultivating a solid friendship, summed it up when he said, "Friends are those with whom our faults are safe."

Another ingredient necessary for the cultivation of a solid friendship is that one must be generous. The friendship is its own reward. The element of generosity was summed up by Christ when he said, "greater love than this no one has than he who lays down his life for his friend."

Another quality needed for a solid friendship is that it be gratuitous. It is a free donation or offering of one person to another. Friendship is never marred by jealousy. There must be a certain freedom between the two friends. Otherwise, there could be the problem of possessiveness or even suffocation of the friendship.

We both know that other qualities could be mentioned so that solid friendships can be cultivated. A sense of humor, charity, understanding, compassion are only some of the ingredients that have to be cultivated for a solid friendship with another.

To the reader of this article on friendship, whether you do it by Email or whatever, I would like you to share your thoughts on this subject.

Your thoughts could be of tremendous help. And if possible, I will take all your thoughts, compile and assemble them and place them in another edition of Spirituality for Today.

Just one last thought on this subject. For many people in this world, life is cold, lonely and hard. If they had one friend, their lives would not only be different, but happier. Why don't you send us your thoughts on friendship. And who knows, in the plan of God your thoughts on the subject of friendship will brighten up the life of someone. A friendship is a touch of heaven on earth. And you can bring a touch of heaven into someone's life.

I love you not only for what you are,

but for what I am when I am with you.

I love you not only for what you have made of yourself,

but for what you are making of me.

I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart,

and passing over all the foolish and frivolous and weak things
which you cannot help dimly seeing there,
and for drawing out into the light
all the beautiful, radiant belongings,
that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.

I love you for ignoring the possibilities of the fool

and weakling in me,
and for laying firm hold
on the possibilities of good in me.

I love you for closing your eyes to the discords in me,

and for adding to the music in me by worshipful listening.

I love you because you are helping me

to make of the lumber of my life not a tavern but a Temple,
and of the words of my every day not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done more

than any creed could have done to make me good,
and more than any fate could have done to make me happy.

You have done it just by being yourself.

Perhaps that is what being a friend means after all.

--Author unknown