What is life without honest, real and meaningful friendships? What is life without the love and companion of those who see the beauty, greatness and perfection that lies within you? Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. If you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you haven't learned anything.

To live life without experiencing friendship is a life without meaning. Human interaction is a necessity for survival, but developed friendships are essential to the successful well being of anyone.

 There comes a stage in life when you don't need a friend who nods when you nod or changes when you change. Our shadow does that much better.

Sometimes your best critic can be your best friend because they want you to grow and be loved, a friend is not the one who pleases you all the time. The Bible says, "You can trust a friend who corrects you".

Honesty and loyalty are the 'superglue' qualities that can permanently cement a friendship. A real friend may upset you by telling you the truth, but they will tell you the truth nonetheless.

They may not always tell you what you want to hear, but if they genuinely love you, they'll tell you what you need to hear. It may be hurtful, but in the long run, it will help you.

You may want to measure your friendship by asking the other person these two questions: Firstly, 'can I trust you enough to be honest with you?' and secondly, 'can I trust you enough to be honest with me?'

Only a true friendship expects and can survive such mutual honesty.

The other quality involved is loyalty. Loyalty is the one thing a person should never have to question their friend about. A true friend will always be your defence attorney before they become your judge.

There's no such thing as 'fair weather friend'.  You don't need friends in a fair weather; you need them when the weather gets nasty.

Mostly, your success in life depends on your ability to establish and maintain relationships with the right people. For a person to be happy, the most important skill would be their ability to get along with people. I think this ability would be more vital than intelligence, knowledge, decisiveness, or job skills.

Actually, none of us makes very many real friends in life because friendship requires time, energy, sacrifice and investing ourselves. And not every "friend" will prove to be one. You might say, 'but I am lonely', then remind yourself of George Washington's wise words, "It is better to be alone than in a bad company.'

The Bible says, “He who walks with the wise, grows wise. But a companion of fools suffers harm.”

I remember the story of a farmer who was being harassed every day by a flock of crows in his field. Deciding he had had enough, he loaded his shotgun and crawled along the fence row, determined to blow those pesky crows out of the sky. Turns out this farmer had a very sociable parrot that indiscriminately made friends with everybody. Seeing the flock of crows, he flew over and joined them trying to be friendly. The farmer saw the crows but didn’t see the parrot, so he took careful aim, fired, then jumped up and ran over to see how many crows he had shot.

Lo and behold, there was his parrot lying on the ground with a broken wing and a chipped beak. But still alive. The farmer tenderly picked him up and brought him home, where his children ran out to meet him.

Seeing the injured parrot, they tearfully asked, "Daddy, what happened?" But before he could answer, the parrot spoke up, "That’s what you get for hanging out with the wrong crowd."

You can never be at the right place, at the right time doing the right thing, if you are in the wrong crowd.

Friends can be seasonal. Just as each season brings its highs and lows, so do friends. People come and go. This is a known fact, and although this is something we are aware of, it doesn't seem to soften the blow when the timer on a friendship is finally up.

Seasonal friendships don't always end messy, but they leave on a note of uncertainty at times. Sometimes, what you have to give to a person is only needed for that season of their life, and that's okay.

As you understand that we have three types of friends in life— friends for a reason, friends for a season and friends for a lifetime, you start unfolding the secret of friendship.