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        The nature of friendship seems to have shifted across the years. People we know at work who are acquaintances we casually refer to as friends probably due to the flux and flow of life. Truer friends typically come from our distant past; they may be far away and cherished. Of course, newly minted friendships can be as valuable as those bonded in childhood.

        “You'll make new friends and lose old ones,” someone once said. “If you're really lucky, you'll have one true friend at the end.”

        Some years ago while researching the unity of humanity or the strengths of thoughtfulness or the value of friendship, I found several variants of the following. The quotations were listed as anonymous, and attributed to cultures as disparate as the Hebraic, Islam, Hinduism, and the Native American. Given that universality, here is my take on the meaning of friendship that is worth bearing in mind:

A friend is someone we may pour out all the contents of our heart to, chaff and grain together. We know that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keeping what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.




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Copyright 2001, Gary Kline