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An Encouraging Word

Friendship accomplishes much 

By HOWARD COOP

It was a special moment to be remembered, and I remember it so well. 

Toward the end of a beautiful day, the sky was azure blue and the warm sun was slowly sinking toward the western horizon. For about an hour, a friend and I, enjoying that peaceful setting, sat on the front porch of a beautiful house and exchanged some unimportant information and engaged in a pleasant, but light-hearted, conversation about ordinary events and the usual happenings of the day. 

It was, indeed, a very pleasant experience and a most enjoyable and rewarding one. It was a perfect way to end a lovely day. In that blissful moment, I remembered some words of Leo Buscaglia: “A single rose can be my garden…a single friend, my world.” That lovely afternoon while in “my world” with my friend, I remembered words of Henry Van Dyke, a professor of English literature: “A friend is what the heart needs all the time.” A friend adds so much to life. Without a friend, life is desolate, and in the depth of the heart, there is a feeling of loneliness, but a friend can change that dramatically and make life immeasurably better.

Now, friendship is defined as an “attachment between friends” or a “friendly feeling or attitude” between two individuals. That relationship can, and often does, lead to some pleasant experiences. Thomas Aquinas, an influential philosopher of the 13th century, said, “There is nothing on earth more to be prized than true friendship.” Then, Hubert H. Humphrey, Vice President of the United States from 1965 to 1969, said, “The greatest gift of life is friendship and I have received it.” 

Who among us has not received that wonderful gift and been blessed immeasurably by it?   

Friendship accomplishes much. Marcel Proust, considered by critics to be one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, said it well: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls bloom.”