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The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are

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De Amicitia Cicero, in somewhere around 44 BC, wrote De Amicitia, a beautiful piece on friendship. In it, he writes:

[H]ow can life be what Ennius calls “the life worth living,” if it does not repose on the mutual goodwill of a friend? What is sweeter than to have someone with whom you may dare discuss anything as if you were communing with yourself? How could your enjoyment in times of prosperity be so great if you did not have someone whose joy in them would be equal to your own?

Cicero defines friendship as “complete sympathy in all matters of importance, plus goodwill and affection.”

Montaigne was no stranger to friendship either. He penned a work on the subject “Of Friendship,” in 1580. Portraying his usually strong bond with Étienne de La Boétie.

Someone you want to share with.

That seems to be the modern definition of friend.

What Does Friendship Mean to You?

If I ask you, “What does friendship mean to you?” you might say loyalty or compatibility, in the abstract. However, if I ask you why eight different people are your friends, I’ll bet you would describe their individual qualities, the circumstances in which you met, and the traits they tend to bring out in you— this one invites you to fun parties and that one challenges you to be a better person. In other words, asking people to define friendship in the first place is a bit like asking people to define flowers. Friends have baseline characteristics just as flowers are basically the blossoms of a plant, but beyond that they are unique and thrive under very different conditions.

That's good. That's real good.

Think where man's glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.

Yeats quote friend

We become like the people we spend time with.

Love that! It's beautiful. Friends pop up when you need them. A true friend is someone you can catch at 4AM when you need one. 

Or 4PM, which is sometimes harder than 4AM for those of us who get up early!

That's when you all leave for happy hour?

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