When I had newly flown the nest, I traveled to a new town in search of a career and personal enrichment. At that time I had the extraordinary good fortune to meet some very principled young business professionals. One of my newfound friends gave me a word of advice.
Her advice was simply this, “choose your friends wisely.” I had had my fair share of disappointing relationships by then, but the weight of what she was sharing did not fully resonate until much later in life. Now, decades later, I look back on the soundness of her admonition and I can safely say I have some amazing friends. But like searching for anything worthwhile, it has taken time and patience to gain the abundance of people I treasure in my life.
In order to gain a closer view of what makes a friend, I have listed some other words for friend. These include: companion, confidante, familiar, alter ego, ally, sidekick, supporter, defender, well-wisher, champion. I think most of these terms are self-explanatory. Why would I want to spend a bulk of my time with someone who I could not trust, who would not support me, or defend me? I certainly would want to do the same for a friend myself. Here are some one liners that I gleaned that might also give us a clearer picture of what a friend is.
A friend to all is a friend to none. Aristotle
Be true to your work, your word, and your friend. Henry David Thoreau
A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same. Elbert Hubbard
The only way to have a friend is to be one. Ralph Waldo Emerson
A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down. Arnold H. Glasow
Friends and good manners will carry you where money won’t go. Margaret Walker
She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.