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friends

“and a youth said, speak to us of friendship.
and he answered, saying:
your friend is your needs answered.
he is your field which you sow with love
and reap with thanksgiving.
and he is your board and your fireside.
for you come to him with your hunger,
and you seek him for peace.
when your friend speaks his mind you
fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor
do you withhold the “ay.”
and when he is silent your heart ceases
not to listen to his heart;
for without words, in friendship, all
thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born
and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
when you part from your friend,
you grieve not;
for that which you love most in him may
be clearer in his absence, as the mountain
to the climber is clearer from the plain.
and let there be no purpose in friendship
save the deepening of spirit.
for love that seeks aught but the disclosure
of its own mystery is not love but
a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable
is caught.
and let your best be for your friend.
if he must know the ebb of your tide,
let him know its flood also.
for what is your friend that you should
seek him with hours to kill?
seek him always with hours to live.
for it is his to fill your need, but not
your emptiness.
and in the sweetness of friendship let
there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
for in the dew of little things the heart
finds its morning and is refreshed.
-Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”

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