What could possibly be better than a comfortable chair, a blazing fire and a circle of congenial friends with whom we are so at ease that we can express our deepest thoughts of the human heart without feeling garrulous and at the same time be as silent as the sphinx without appearing sullen.
I confess with genuine regret that I am guilty of neglecting both old and new friends. I find little comfort that my neglect is never intentional, but rather the result of a busy schedule. One can never be so rich that one could have a happy life without friends.
When you finish reading this column, call some friend and express your gratitude for their friendship. It is worth more than gold. Remember those lines:
“He who has a thousand friends,
Has not a friend to spare
He who has one enemy,
Shall meet him everywhere!”
The best thing you have in this world of trouble and pain is a good friend. Henry Ford was asked by a friend, “Who is your best friend?” After a long pause, Mr. Ford responded, “He is your best friend who brings out of you the best that is in you.” Never forget, to have a friend, one must also be a friend.
Charles Hanson Towne wrote the following poem, which is so sad but true to so many of us. The title is “Around the Corner”.
Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on
And before I know it a year is gone.
And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell,
And he rang mine, we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired old men;
Tired with playing a foolish game,
Tired with trying to make a name.
“Tomorrow”, I say, “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him.”
But tomorrow comes - and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner! Yet miles away .
“Here is a telegram, sir - Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get, and deserve in the end:
Around the corner, a vanished friend.
I am sure most of us have a huge bundle of “I meant to” and they are supported by many “good intentions”. Surely we know now that good intentions never lift a burden nor bring a smile. If you want to bring cheer to a lonely heart, it takes a voice and a little time. Consider this: what are you doing this very moment that is more important than taking the time to call a friend and telling them what they mean to you. It will bring good cheer and you will be richer also. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, not the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship. My friends have come unsought. God gave them to me.”