Monday, March 7, 2011

In Praise of Friendship - Live Long and Prosper

Greeting me one morning on Yahoo's home page was a self-help article with an alluring title: "5 Ways to Cheat Death."

Who wouldn't like to do that?

One of the five ways is to "Make Relationships Last." BYU professor Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., gives two reasons. The first, "Social support is linked to better immune function." That makes sense, because knowing there are people who care enough about you to help you through tough times can relieve stress; and stress makes it hard for your immune system to regenerate.

Her second theory is that having friends may mean that "you're likely to take fewer risks that endanger those worthwhile relationships."

Can you imagine a life with no friends? The mere thought is stressful! So does social networking help us live longer?

For thousands of years, wise people have affirmed the primal importance of friendship...

"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together." - Woodrow Wilson, American president (1856-1924)

“The best time to make friends is before you need them.” - Ethel Barrymore, American actress (1879-1959)

"Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship." - Dalai Lama, Tibetan religious leader (1935- )

"Friends are the sunshine of life." - John Hay, American diplomat (1838-1905)

“Of all the things which wisdom provides to make life entirely happy, much the greatest is the possession of friendship.” - Epicurus, Greek philosopher (341-270 B.C.)

"Music I heard with you was more than music, and bread I broke with you was more than bread." - Conrad Aiken, American poet (1889-1973)

"There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship." - Thomas Aquinis, Italian theologian (1225-1274)

“Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods.” - Aristotle, Greek philosopher (B.C. 384-322)

“Tell me what company you keep, and I'll tell you what you are.” - Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish novelist (1547-1616)

"Love is flowerlike, friendship is a sheltering tree." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, British poet (1772-1834)

"There is no hope of joy except in human relations." - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French author (1900-1944)

“A friend might well be reckoned the masterpiece of nature.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American philosopher (1803-1882)

"My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me." - Henry Ford, American business leader (1863-1947)

"Your friend is your needs answered." - Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese poet (1883-1931)

“When you die, if you've got five real friends, you've had a great life.” - Lee Iacocca, American business leader (1924- )

"A man, sir, should keep his friendship in a constant repair." - Samuel Johnson, British essayist (1709-1784)

"I get by with a little help from my friends." - John Lennon, British songwriter (1940-1980)

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." - Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865)

"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt, American diplomat (1884-1962)

“No man is useless while he has a friend.” - Robert Lewis Stevenson, Scottish novelist (1850-1894)

"Fine friendship requires duration rather than fitful intensity." - Aristotle, Greek philosopher (B.C. 384-322)

“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, American boxer (1942- )

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2010. Building Personal Strength . (Permission to use photo purchased from

1 comment:

Sarcastic Bastard said...

I love that Aiken poem. It blows me away. He was a Savannah boy, you know.

Love to you,