by Bradley Trevor Greive (October 2004)
"Animals are such agreeable friends--they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms."
Do you make friends easily? Do some of your friendships date back to years ago? Do you have a best friend? Just by our life experiences we know what a friend is, but how would you define "friend" to someone who had no knowledge of the word?
I like Aristotle's definition: "A true friend is one soul in two bodies." A less literary and more lighthearted definition of a friend is by Mr/Ms Anonymous: "A friend is one who dislikes the same people that you dislike."
Friendship is a valuable commodity to be cherished and cared for. True friendship is a durable thing. Commitments between friends are easily made and certainly kept. Good friends don't feel the need to carry on incessant conversations; silence between friends is an enjoyable time not an awkward time.
Understanding between friends is a beautiful thing because their thoughts often lie on the same plane; much of the time friends know they are in agreement without even voicing their thoughts. The proverbial "they can finish each other's sentences" applies to best friends.
And true friends are very much in agreement most of the time. Even when they disagree, friends are okay with that. They agree to disagree and neither is put out with the other.
Robert Blair (1699-1746), a Scottish poet, aptly summed up the relationship of friends:
"Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul,
Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society."
Do you have a best friend? How long have you been best friends? My best friend and I have been best friends for . . . a looong time. Almost gave away my age there! Do you think we can have more than one best friend?