In the daily round one's friends play an important part. "A man is known by his friends" is a popular saying, as men usually seek the companionship of those whose tastes and views are similar to their own. Friendship is an especially pleasant relationship, in that it is voluntary, and depends for its continuance on no other ties than those of mutual agreement. Some manifestation of it is, one may say, essential to satisfactory living, and the wholly friendless person misses so much of good that he cannot be said to be living satisfactory.

Though often used to indicate a mere acquaintance, the word "friend" has a deeper significance. Joy in sharing, loyalty, love, freedom from all thought of gain or hope of reward; frankness, helpfulness, sympathy, self-sacrifice—such are the qualities by which friends are known to one another. If these are its characteristics, it is clear that friendship can rise to great heights. The human heart naturally seeks friendship, and true friendships should be common. Yet, in fact, they are rare, perhaps because men fail to recognize that the qualities essential to friendship are spiritual, and so, exclusive to merely material thoughts and considerations. If material considerations are allowed to outweigh the spiritual, a friendship which at first aimed high sinks to a lower plane and eventually dissoves.

A Fitness for Blessings
February 16, 1935

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