Friendship Is Different

Friendship is different from all other relationships. Unlike acquaintanceship, it is based on love. Unlike lovers and married couples, it is free of jealousy. Unlike children and parents, it knows neither criticism nor resentment.

Friendship has no status in law. Business partnerships are based on a contract. So is marriage. Parents are bound by law, as are children. But friendship is freely entered into, freely given, freely exercised.

Friends never cheat each other, or take advantage, or lie. Friends do not spy on one another, yet they have no secrets.

Friends glory in each other's successes and are downcast by the failures. Friends minister to each other, nurse each other.

Friends give to each other, worry about each other, stand always ready to help. Perfect friendship is rarely achieved, but at its height is an ecstasy.

from "Comrads" by Stephen E. Ambrose

The most precious gift one person can offer another is a hand outstretched in friendship.

Abigail Van Buren

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