Around the corner I have a friend,
in this great city that has no end;
Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
and before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friend’s face,
for life is a swift and terrible race.
He knows I like him just as well
as in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine – we were younger then;
but now we are tired, busy men.
Tired with playing a foolish game,
tired with trying to make a name.
“Tomorrow,” I say, “I’ll call on Jim,
just to show that I’m thinking of him.”
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
and the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
then comes the news… Jim died today!
And that’s what we get, and deserve in the end:
around the corner – a vanished friend!

Charles Hanson Towne

Do you know the neighbour who lives in your block;
Do you ever take time for a bit of a talk?
Do you know his troubles, his heartaches, his cares,
The battles he’s fighting, the burdens he bears?
Do you greet him with joy or pass him right by
With a questioning look and a quizzical eye?
Do you bid him “Good morning” and “How do you do,”
Or shrug up as if he was nothing to you?
He may be a chap with a mighty big heart,
And a welcome that grips, if you just do your part.
And I know you’ll coax out his sunniest smile,
If you’ll stop with this neighbour and visit awhile.

We rush on so fast in these strenuous days,
We’re apt to find fault when it’s better to praise.
We judge a man’s worth by the make of his car;
We’re anxious to find what his politics are.
But somehow it seldom gets under the hide,
The fact that the fellow we’re living beside
Is a fellow like us, with a hankering, too,
For a grip of the hand and a “How do you do!”
With a heart that responds in a welcome sincere
If you’ll just stop to fling him a message of cheer,
And I know you’ll coax out his sunniest smile,
If you’ll stop with this neighbour and visit awhile.

H. Howard Biggar

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years trying to get other people interested in you.”

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), writer and lecturer

If you’re wise, you’ll surround yourself with people who support you emotionally and spiritually, and you can share your dreams and ideas with them. CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were members of The Inklings, an informal literary discussion group associated with Oxford University. It was comprised of teachers, writers and friends who met regularly at a well-known Oxford pub to discuss passages from their favourite books as well as their own writings. In 1936, they decided the world needed more novels that had faith and morality as their central theme. Lewis and Tolkien decided to write science fiction after realising the inferior quality of similar stories being published at the time. They literally tossed a coin to decide who would write a book on space travel versus time travel. Tolkien got the time travel nod, but his early efforts with such a story never really worked out. Later, however, he achieved great success with The Lord of The Rings. Lewis wrote his famous series of novels called The Space Trilogy, and from that momentum he eventually penned The Chronicles of Narnia.

Source: The UCB Word For Today , 21/10/2015

The ‘Law of Association’ dictates that the company you keep will either lift you, lower you, or limit you. – You get to choose which it will be!

“The only way to have a friend is to be a friend.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), American poet and essayist

“A true friend is one who hears and understands when you share your deepest feelings. He supports you when you are struggling; corrects you gently and with love when you err; forgives you when you fail; prods you to personal growth and stretches you to your full potential. And most amazing of all, he celebrates your successes as if they were his own.”

Richard Exley, pastor and author

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Proverbs 17:17 NIV

The Essence of Friendship: Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh the thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.

Dinah Maria Mulcokcraig

“No man is an island.”

John Donne (1573-1631), English poet and preacher

“I think most men could recruit six pall-bearers, but hardly anyone has a friend he can call at 2:00a.m. … If you want a real friend, you will probably need to be the one who takes the initiative.”

Patrick Morley

If you go out to look for friends they will always be hard to find, but if you go out to be a friend you will find them everywhere.

True friendship stands the test of separation. Friends, once they have become deeply involved with each other, can be apart for months or even years and then, after five minutes together, it’s as if they had never been separated at all. They’re really interested in each other as persons, not in impressing each other. So when they do get together, they spend their time catching up, not competing… It takes real friendship to be happy to see the other person do better than we have done.

Fred Smith, US businessman, speaker and author

The UK retail chain Topshop commissioned a survey by a team of psychologists into their key customer demographic: Generation Y (born after 1981). They interviewed 800 people. The results were so startling that they did not believe them. They interviewed another 800, and got the same results.

The results portrayed an alarming picture of an increasingly lonely and lost generation. More people live alone than at any other point in our recorded social history. The average Facebook usage for Generation Y is six and a half hours a day. Many who were interviewed considered work something they fitted in between Facebook and lunch! They found people had a very large number of ‘friends’ but an increasing sense of loneliness.

There is nothing wrong with social media, but it is no substitute for real, face-to-face friendships. We were created for friendship with God (Genesis 3:8) and with one another (Genesis 2:18).

Friendship multiplies joy and divides sorrow.

Source: Nicky Gumbel, Bible in One Year – Alpha, Day 174 of 365

Art thou lonely, O my brother?
Share thy little with another!
Stretch a hand to one unfriended,
And thy loneliness is ended.

John Oxenham

“True friendship doubles our joy and halves our grief.”

attributed to Elisabeth Foley

“The most called upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.”

Maya Angelou, American poet, playwright and composer

‘Auld lang syne’ is a Scottish phrase meaning: old times remembered with affection or nostalgia (Literal translation: old, long, since):

Auld Lang Syne (verses 1&2)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to min’?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And days o’ lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,

For auld lang syne,

We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet

For auld lang syne.

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

Proverbs 27:17 NIV

“Make the other person like himself a little bit more and I promise you that he will like you very much indeed.”

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773), English Statesman and noted author of “Letters to His Son”.

It’s worth going out of our way to maintain friendships, not only to save ourselves from eventually slipping into isolation but also because it’s part of the divine ecology: ‘It is not good for man to be alone’.

John Pritchard

John Pritchard, Living Faithfully, 2013, SPCK London, p.120

‘WELCOME INN’ (a sign above the door of an old English pub)
Hail, Guest! We ask not what thou art;
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart;
If Stranger, such no longer be;
If Foe, our love shall conquer thee.

“There are lots of people who want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

Oprah Winfrey

Success is being friendly when another needs a friend,
It’s in the cheery words you speak and in the coins you lend.
Success is not alone in skill and deeds of daring great,
It’s in the roses that you plant beside your garden gate.
Success is in the way you walk the paths of life each day,
It’s in the little things you do and in the things you say.
Success is in the glad hello you give your fellow man,
It’s in the laughter of your home and all the joys you plan.
Success is not getting rich or rising high to fame,
It’s not alone in winning goals, which all men hope to claim,
It’s in the person you are each day through happiness or care,
It’s in the happy words you speak and in the smile you wear.
Success is being big of heart and clean and broad of mind,
It’s being faithful to your friends and to the stranger, kind. (Anon)

To win some be winsome

The key to lasting friendships is to develop a short memory.

“It’s the friends that you can call up at 4 o’clock in the morning that matter.”

Marlene Dietrich

“To rejoice in the prosperity of another is to partake of it.”

W. Austin

“Be nice to people on the way up because you will meet them again on your way down.”

Wilson Mizner (1875-1933), US playwright and author