Words To Live By

If you know me REALLY well–very few do–you know I collect quotes. If I read or hear something that rings true, I’ll save it. Last weekend I went through five notebooks full of quotes I’d written down over a span of about three years and entered them on my computer (you know, hoarding being a bad OCD habit and all, trying to scale down the amount of useless crap I have). They come from books, articles and essays I’ve read, movies I’ve watched, and sermons I’ve listened to. I find something wise and worth keeping every day. It’s why I try to keep a pen and paper handy wherever I’m at.

Today I had a deep conversation with an old friend. I hadn’t spoken to him in a very, very long time. We had a lot to catch up on, and he actually asked if I still kept quotes (the habit has gone back much farther than three years). One of the subjects that we spent a lot of time on is friendship. I won’t divulge what exactly we talked about, partially because it wouldn’t be fair to some of the people who know me and read my missives, but he asked me to compile a list of quotes about friendship and send them to him. I thought I’d share them with you, too.

“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.” –Aristotle

“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain.  It’s not something you learn in school.  But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”  –Muhammad Ali

“There isn’t much better in this life than finding a way to spend a few hours in conversation with people you respect and love.  You have to carve this time out of your life because you aren’t really living without it.”  –Anonymous minister (I never wrote down his name.)

“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”  –Jane Austen

“It isn’t kind to cultivate a friendship just so one will have an audience.”  –Lawana Blackwell

“It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.”  –William Blake

“Being friendless taught me how to be a friend.  Funny how that works.”  –Blogger Colleen

“Love is like the wild-rose briar; friendship is like the holly-tree.  The holly is dark when the rose briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly?”  –Emily Bronte

“An insincere and evil friend is to be more feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”  –Buddha

“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead.  Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.”  –Albert Camus

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”  –Carnegie

“Friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.”  –Cicero

“In prosperity our friends know us; in adversity we know our friends.”  –John Churton Collins

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“‘Tis a great confidence in a friend to tell him your faults; greater to tell him his.”  –Benjamin Franklin

“Probably no man ever had a friend that he did not dislike a little.”  –E.W. Howe

“Never explain–your friends don’t need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.”  –Elbert Hubbard

“The friendship that can cease has never been real.”  –Saint Jerome

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances–if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”  –Carl Jung

“Go through your contact list, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport.  The ones who will drive you are your friends.  The rest aren’t bad people–they’re just acquaintances.”  –Jay Leno

“Sometimes the measure of friendship isn’t your ability to not harm but your capacity to forgive the things done to you and ask forgiveness for your own mistakes.”  –Randy Milholland

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”  –Henry Nouwen

“You can always tell a real friend: when you’ve made a fool of yourself he doesn’t fell you’ve done a permanent job.”  –Laurence J. Peter

“Never refuse any advance of friendship, for if nine out of ten bring you nothing, one alone may repay you.”  –Madame de Tencin

“Be courteous to all but intimate with few, and let those few be well-tried before you give them your confidence.  True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation.”  –George Washington

“I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I don’t believe I deserved my friends.”  –Walt Whitman

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