I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. Several personal health-related experiences, the debate on the pros and cons of the latest “social media” technologies, and watching personal friends work through challenging relationships, these are some of the sparks that prompted my thinking about friends and friendship.
One favorite quotation that I first heard many times many years ago surfaced often as I mused about the meanings of friendship in today’s world. I thought this quote was specifically a quote on friendship, but thanks to a Google search and a quick check on Wikipedia, I learned that it was first published in Dinah Mulock’s novel, A Life for a Life, published in 1859.
150 years later Dinah Mulock’s words aptly describe what happens when real-world friends engage honestly with each other:
“Oh, the comfort--the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person —
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain 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.”