I’m not a good friend… But then again, are any of us?

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Friendship seems like a skill or topic I was never really keen on. I’m not really sure why. It’s something I am still learning about.

Yes, I had to learn how to be a good friend.

Don’t we all? I don’t know. Some people seem to be born with it. All these questions hit me when I found a quote about friendship from “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran:

“And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit. For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need but not your emptiness.

And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

What is a friend?
What is true friendship?
How do we choose friends and why?
How are friendships so complex and yet so simple?

Pretty sure it was Voltaire (or another French philosopher) who said that friendship is like a garden to be cultivated. And it makes sense. Humans are pretty selfish creatures (the paradox being that we equally crave human connection), so we have to learn to give to others.

But I think that is precisely what makes friendship so beautiful. The sacrifice. The deepening of the spirit. The mutual care and cherishing. Even the Bible talks about the beauty of friendship. (I mean, look at Jesus and his disciples. The bond they shared was evident throughout the New Testament.)

“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” Prov. 17:17

“Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:12-13

So, in short, I’m still learning what it means to be a friend. A good friend. One who is willing to fill the needs of others, not their emptiness.

What is friendship to you? Would you consider yourself a good friend? I’d love to hear your thoughts, if you want to leave a comment below.

Until my next existential crisis,

Kristen

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