Marcus Tullius Cicero is one of the greats. I’ve been reading “De Amicitia,” his essay on friendship, and it has me thinking about what friendship means to me.
Cicero wrote that an old friendship, like a fine wine, becomes more delightful with the passing of time, and that a life full of power and wealth but without friendship is no life at all.
This rings true for me. I have been blessed with excellent friendships. My friends challenge me with great and honest advice, and they increase my capacity for joy by sharing theirs with me. Sorrow, too—for friendship means being there for each other during the tough times.
As I have grown older, the value I place on friendship has increased. Having shared history with people is something that can develop only over a long period of time. At any time you can make a new friend. But it takes years and years for someone to become an old friend.
My hope for you is that you cherish your friends and that they cherish you. It’s a simple wish, yet if fulfilled it will give you happiness every day, and shelter during your sorrows.
Patrick J. Wood