| For to be a friend you have to care about people, what they think, what they feel, what they suffer. if you just don't like people, you may still be cordial to acquaintances, but friendship is no go. You must try to understand people, their hopes and fears and aspirations. At least a remnant of the dignity of the human being shines somehow through the rags of the tramp who craves a drink and the one who needs an egg for Easter.
Friendship stumbles most often on the rocks of inconvenience. Most of us have an abundance of good impulses which we either forget or find it inconvenient to translate into actuality. I have found most men are kind-hearted. They are usually willing to do generous things, if they can do them without much personal inconvenience. They are thoughtful of the sorrow and the needs of others- if they have the time and the occasion is not too difficult.
Friendship is a plant that has to be cultivated; it must be watered and tended if it is to produce sweet and wholesome fruit.
Above all, friendship meas to me the immeasurable capacity for forgiveness. It means the ability to check off resentment, rather than let it persist and poison the spirit. RObert Louis Stevenson wrote: "he is a green hand at lufe who cannot forgive any mortal thing." There is no more enduring thing in life than real friendship. If it is not enduring then it is not real, and has never quite found its way from the far-flung field of acquaintances to the inner circle of devotion.
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