What is a Friend?
An English publication offered a prize for the best definition of a friend, and among the thousands of answers received were the following:
- "One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
- "One who understands our silence."
- "A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
- "A watch which beats true for all time and never runs down."
- "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
"'Stay' is a charming word in a friends's vocabulary."
~Amos Bronson Alcott
I dare not ask your very all:
I only ask a part.
Bring me - when dancers leave the hall-
Your aching heart.
Give other friends your lighted face,
The laughter of the years:
I come to crave a greater grace-
Bring me your tears!
Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person;
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together,
knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeing, and then with the breath of kindness,
blow the rest away.
Lord, who am I to teach the way
To little children day by day,
So prone myself to go astray?
I teach them KNOWLEDGE, but I know
How faint they flicker and how low
The candles of my knowledge glow.
I teach them POWER to will and do,
But only now to learn anew
My own great weakness through and through.
I teach them LOVE for all mankind
And all God's creatures, but I find
My love comes lagging far behind.
Lord, if their guide I still must be,
Oh, let the little children see
The teacher leaning hard on Thee.
~Leslie Pinckney Hill
Recipe for Greatness
To bear up under loss;
To fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakeness of grief;
To be victor over anger;
To smile when tears are close;
To resist disease and evil men and base instincts;
To hate hate and to love love;
To go on when it would seem good to die;
To look up with unquenchable faith
in something ever more about to be.
That is what any man can do, and be great.
Drop a pebble in the water,
And its ripples reach out far;
And the sunbeams dancing on them
May reflect them to a star.
Give a smile to someone passing,
Thereby making his morning glad:
It may greet you in the evening
When your own heart may be sad.
Do a deed of simple kindness;
Though its end you may not see,
It may reach, like widening ripples,
Down a long eternity.