Aristotle once said, ‘In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge.’
Good friends enrich our lives in so many ways. Through a magical combination of similarities and differences, friends offer us the opportunity to know ourselves as we are and help us grow into who we want to be. Our similarities attract us to each other, comforting us with familiarity when we seen ourselves in them. When we are drawn to those we admire, the same recognition is at work, unconsciously acknowledging that these people possess qualities that we ourselves possess. By acting as mirrors, friends help us define who we are by reflecting ourselves back to us.
Friends also help us know ourselves through our differences. Differences allow us to see other options and make choices about who we want to be. Sometimes we are drawn to those who appear to be our opposites, and we learn to accept the parts of them we love and the parts of them that don’t resonate with us.
Part of the joy of friendship is the feeling that we are accepted just the way we are, with no need to change. It is a gift they give back every day. Ultimately, we choose friends because they make us feel good about ourselves and life. Through tears and difficulties, friends help us find the laughter. When we find those special people who offer us that perfect combination of comfort and stimulus to grow, we are very fortunate. Friends, those wonderful companions that walk with us through life, help us define and refine who we are and who we choose to be every day.
During each of our journeys, there are those inevitable moments when someone comes into our life at precisely the right time and says or does precisely the right thing. Their words or actions may help us perceive ourselves more clearly, remind us that everything will turn out for the best, help us cope, or see us through difficult situations. These people are special.
A few of these special people are in professions where helping others is an everyday occurrence. But most of them are regular people, going about their daily lives until called upon to be in the right place at the right time to bring peace, joy, help, or heal someone when they most need it.
You may be one of these special people yet not know it. Your fate or intuition may guide you toward other people’s challenging or distressing situations, leading you to infer that you simply have bad luck. But recognising yourself as a special person can help you deal with the pain you see and understand that you are there to help and comfort others during their times of need.
A few words from Eleanor Roosevelt: ‘Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger.
“If someone betrays once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it is your fault. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; he who loses faith, loses all.
‘Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. Learn from the mistakes of others; you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. Friends, you and me… You brought another friend… and we started our group… our circle of friends… and like a circle… there is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.’
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, look around you and truly cherish those special people and friends that are part of your life and always remember that friendship can be a true place of refuge.