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October 28 , 2009

Toasting Friendship


If we have never known a true friend, we miss out on one of life's greatest blessings. The fault lies with us and not in our stars. The blessings of a warm, sincere and enduring friendship do not drop unbidden from the sky. We have to deserve it before we can have it. In plain terms, we have to be the kind of person somebody else would want as a friend. That is the only way a rewarding friendship can form, develop and strengthen with the passage of time.

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No man is an island, not even he who seeks the life of a recluse, away from his fellow-beings and the hassle of modern living. Before he becomes a hermit, a man must first co-exist among his own kind and learn the art of effective social intercourse. During that period the surest proof of his worth as a human is through his ability to befriend and win the regards of others – which in turn depends on his conduct, his magnanimity of heart and his general outlook towards life. Many other factors are involved – compassion, understanding, empathy and, most of all, a willingness to give and take.

A facetious quote by an anonymous person defines a friend as "someone you can call up at four in the morning, whatever the reason". We feel so sure of that someone and are so confident of his concern for us that we don't feel any qualms about rousing him up at that unearthly hour. Never mind the grumpiness and growls, that person is happy to be there for us (even if he doesn't show it at that pre-dawn hour). It's a good feeling to know there is at least one person we can rely on in times of need, one fellow-being who doesn't listen to us with a disinterested ear. Did I say a good feeling? I meant great, marvellous, inexpressibly joyful. What can be more wonderful than to have at least one such person in your life?

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