The Value of Friendship
“Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatched, unfledged comrade.”
Man is a social animal. He cannot live alone. In his journey through life, he comes into contact with countless people but he cannot open out his heart to everyone. By instinct, he needs some near and dear friend who can share his joys and sorrows with him. So he selects someone who he expects would stand by him through thick and thin. Life would be monotonous and dull without a good friend. Good friends, no doubt, are very rare. Friendship is the marriage of two souls. Friends have no secrets between them and they have a perfect understanding of each other.
Aristotle defines friendship as ‘a single soul dwelling in two bodies’. Friendship is one of the most useful things on earth. Two persons develop friendship when they have similar tastes, similar nature or similar views. They may be different from each other in certain things. But there is something which serves as bond of friendship between them. Money and social status cannot stand in the way of true friendship. The story of the friendship of Lord Krishana and Sudama shows that friendship does not have much to do with social status or economic condition of the friends.
Friends may be true or false. Warning man against false friends, Shakespeare, says,” Most friendship is feigning ; most loving mere folly.” Those who stand by a man through thick and thin are his true friends. Selfish friends stick to a person so long as he is rich. But when he falls on bad days, they leave him. Such selfish friends should be avoided. A friend in need is a friend indeed. It is rightly said that prosperity wins friends and adversity tries them. A full purse always attracts friends while an empty purse tries them. Oliver Goldsmith rightly remarks:
“And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep,
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
But leaves the wretch to weep?”
The choice of friends should be made very wisely. The choice of our friends can make or mar our career. “Acquaintance with many, familiarity with a few, friendship with one and enmity with none,” should be our guiding principle while making the choice. Unequal friendship seldom lasts long. Friends should normally be almost of equal age, social status and temperament.
Real friendship is a rare blessing. When dark clouds of sorrow surround us on all side, a true friend serves as a ray of light. He encourages and inspires us. He cheers us up in our sorrow. When he shares our sorrows, they are reduced to minimum. He serves us as a mirror in which we can see our good and bad points. He is to us a “guide, philosopher and friend.” A true friend should be self-sacrificing and noble-hearted. Charles Lamb must be thinking of some such friend when he said,
“Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother
Why wert thou not born in my father’s dwelling?”
“A faithful friend,” says the Bible,” is a medicine of life.” Rather, he is a panacea for all ills. But it is hundred times better to have a wise enemy than a foolish friend. We must distinguish between true friend and false friends. A true friend is one who stands by us in adversity. A false friend, on the other hand, serves his own interests. Our whole life is liable to be influenced, either for good or for evil, by our choice of friends. Unfortunately, however, many people make their choice in haste and, therefore, repent at leisure.
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A friend is a person that someone knows and likes.
People who are friends talk to each other and spend timetogether. They also help each other when they are in trouble or are hurt. Friends are people that can be looked up to and trusted. Usually friends have similar interests. A friend is one who admires a person's skill and helps or encourages them to make the right choices and do not get into any trouble at all.
The strength of the bond of friendship between two people can vary. If the bond is very strong, they are called best friends. This can usually be achieved by possessing the elements of friendship, by being kind, generous, loyal, honest and by having fun. With these qualities you can truly enjoy the bliss of friendship.
There are expectations, demands and complaints in friendship too. If friends don't match with your expectations, it does not mean you will break the friendship. It is all about understanding, realizing and helping whenever possible.
Friendship is both good and necessary. Man cannot live all alone. He is a social being. He needs someone to share his joys and sorrows. Generally, it is only people of similar age, character and background, mentality, etc., who can understand him and his problems. Friends are needed for support and for sharing.
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