The Glory of Friendship

“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.

5 thoughts on “The Glory of Friendship

  • I saw this quote and it reminded me of what you are saying here Gregg, you must be the friend to others. You must reach out with the pure heart, you can’t wait in the corner hoping to find friendship, you must reach out and be that friend to others,

    “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
    ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

  • I like your emphasis on being a friend. If that is our concern, we will automatically develop friendships because we are looking to give, not to get.

  • The older you get the more precious friendship becomes. It’s not just a mutual admiration society, nor as you say an infilling of some need in yourself. By it’s very nature it is inclusive of others and attractive as it brings out the highest in us; makes life better for everyone it touches. It’s been said that the company we keep tells volumes about us because it is the bar that we set for ourselves. Our friends are those we choose to create with and our choice of friends determine that creation. Beautiful post, thank you.

  • Some people say that friendships have to be watered to grow, and I suppose their is an element of truth to that. I have found however that rich currents of communion can transpire with people I see or speak to maybe only once a year or less. With each conversation or meeting their is mutual delight, and nothing seems to be lost by the passage of time, it is as if the heart quickens and remembers , and instantly picks up from where it left off. Suffice to say the treasure of such communion is always rooted in giving not in getting.

  • Acknowledging the value we can offer to another and providing that allows for glory to fill the air. That value does come from an agile willingness to see through external appearances to what really is the core substance of another. There is treasure at hand in all including ourselves ready to be gloriously shared.

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