I think of friendship mostly as an energy play. A friend gives me energy, makes my life a richer, larger experience. My friends are my teachers, my counselors, people I can celebrate with, cry with, laugh with. They expand my views and they help me conduct my life with grace. They spur my creativity and my ambition.
My friends share my victories and help me bear my failures. They are an unfailing source of support and guidance. Their demographics vary as widely as their interests and geographies (and this is by design.) I am humbled by the abundance of friendship in my life.
I've also been thinking about friendship in the context of these tough times we are now experiencing. We're only going to get through this difficult economy (and the last bitter months of the George Bush presidency) if we band together. This is the hour when our ability for fostering friendship will be tested. Anyone can be a friend in good times; it's those who can help us transform a difficult situation into a worthwhile experience that are truly worth their weight in gold.
There is a lot of talk about hope these days and while hope is not a strategy, it is an effective tool. My friends give me hope that tomorrow will be better; that eventually, with persistent efforts, we will be stronger and wiser - together. That hope coupled with the powerful support friends provide is going to make me a better person and this world a better place to be.