“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It is commonly noted that children make instant friends with one another, and I suppose it is so because they lack the pretense, greed and self-consciousness that often plague their adult counterparts. In short, they are pure of heart.
Insufficient purity of heart is the reason why most people tend to have many acquaintances, but few true friends. They approach others in the spirit of acquisitiveness, that is, they are looking for others primarily as a means of filling a void in themselves. They feel unloved, undesirable, uninspired, uninformed, among other things, and they set out to find people to fill in what they themselves have proven incapable of filling out.
Don’t get me wrong; we do need one another. We need friends, and lots of them. The basis upon which we set out to make them, however, is far more important than most have imagined. True friends can only be formed when the waters of the heart are pure, when both individuals are rooted in selfless service, motivated by love, and unconcerned about personal wants.
The lure of friendship is often cast into a pool of potential friends with the desperation of a hungry fisherman. Sadly, such attempts to find friends to fill outer needs or satisfy inner hungers rarely work out in the long run.
If you wish to be a friend, you must be willing to believe in others and trust them with your friendship. You must find it in yourself to approach them with sufficient purity of heart to merit the glories of friendship. To have a friend, you must be one.