Friendship is the feeling of mutual regard and attachment which grows up among person who come in contact with one another in the affairs of life. It is quite a natural feeling, and grows up and is intensified as a result of frequent intercourse: Usually the feeling is engendered between persons with the same temperaments, tastes and ideas. Like to like is the law which governs friendship. Persons with different tastes can never agree and become friends, because they cannot sympathise with one another; and without sympathy there can be no friendship.
Man is a social animal; he must mix with others. A man . who lives in solitude is either an angel or a heast, but the majority of men are not angels. They must, therefore, associate with others, if they do not wish to become misanthropists. And it is a great pleasure to associate with kindred natures.
It is easier to make enemies than to make friends. The reason is that true friends are very rare, and every one whom we meet and converse with or deal with, however outwardly attractive his manners and whatever his professions may be, cannot be trusted as a friend. You can agree with and like very few men, but every one with whom you disagree or whom you dislike may become your enemy. Besides, false friends are more dangerous than real enemies. That was why some one is said to have exclaimed, “Save me from my friends.” A true friend is a great blessing. he would help you in time of need, and a friend in need is a friend indeed.
Selfish men would leave you as soon as their self-interest is satisfied, and at the first sight of danger, but a true and faithful friend would follow you like shadow, and would remain with you through thick and thin. We can express our inmost feelings to our friends and impart to them our greatest secrets with confidence, and thus relieve our hearts of a great burden. A friend’s counsel; his sympathy, his help, lighten our anxieties. He shares our joys and sorrows. A true and faithful friend is also a great corrector of our faults. By his gentie advice and as a result of our association with him, and by the silent influence of his example, our angularities are smoothed. In distress and misery, when we feel lonely, and the whole world is dark, a true friend is our only support.
A true friends is thus a great medicine for all the ills of life. He is the source of comfort and solace, and upholds us in difficulties. Loneliness in life is a great evil. Friends are the only cure of this evil. Friendship is doubly blessed. It renders prosperity more brilliant and adversity more hearable. Cherish true friends, help them, work or them, defend thein, stand up for them if attacked, rejoice with them if they prosper, sympathise with them in evil times, and console them if they are in trouble. A true friend would warn us if we go wrong. But a foolish and a selfish friend is very dangerous. He will injure us, though unwillingly. A time-serving friend is like poisoned milk, and we must shun him. We must distinguish between true friends and false friends. True friendship must be based on virtue and truth.
The choice of friends is very difficult. We must choose our friends with great care, and having once chosen them, we should not lose them. If we wish that others should be true to us, we should also be true to them. Shakespeare says:
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tired. Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.