A friend is a person whom you want to have near when you are dying.
And whom you like to be with while you are living;
To whom you spontaneously turn for help when you are in trouble.
And who is the first to hear the good news when you have good fortune;
Whose counsel you seek when you are perplexed.
And whose congratulations you welcome when the perplexity is solved;
In whom you can confide the secret you want no other living soul to know.
Yet will never pry into your heart to discover whether there are any more
secrets to be revealed;
On whom you can lean when your heart aches.
But who will never take advantage of your leaning;
Who will get down on his knees beside you when you are down.
And forget that he did so when you are on your feet again;
And whose shoulder you can weep on when you are sad.
And with whom you enjoy laughing when you are glad;
Who has a tear on his cheek when you suffer.
And a twinkle in his eye when the sun shines on you again;
Who has pain in his tone when you are in distress.
And melody in his voice when your heart is gay;
Who admires you for your strong points.
But loves you in spite of your weak ones;
Who can laugh at your foibles.
Without despising you for having them;
Who makes allowance for your limitations.
Without allowing them to obscure your talents;
Who is proud of you when fortune favors you.
But not ashamed of you when you fail;
Who contributes to your success without claiming any share in it.
Who can feel and show satisfaction when you please him.
But never resentment when you disappoint him;
Who will tell you the truth even when it hurts.
And to whom you can tell the truth without his taking offense;
Who is not ashamed to ask you a favor even at the risk of being imposed upon.
Who can extend a helping hand and lighten your load
Without expecting any other reward than having had the privilege of so doing;
Who gives all he can whenever he can.
Without ever keeping a record of what he has given;
Who says the best about you when everybody else is saying the worst.
Any person needs at least four such friends;
Every person owes it to himself to be such a friend to at least four fellow humans.
God help me to be such a friend.