It has been dictated to us that a friend is someone you can talk to at any time all the time. One with whom you share many things in common, whose mind is familiar and likeable. A mate who laughs as well as cries with you, and so forth. While these qualities are commendable, and excellent to find, a friend ought simply to be one who has goodwill towards you. Good will, being, a disposition to kindness, love, compassion amongst other virtues.

It so follows that, when you succeed, they are not there as a prying leech and, in poverty they do not hide their face from you. When faced with challenges, the best they offer is either a helping hand or easily lend a listening ear or suggest timely and loving advice in truth; to build, to encourage, to soothe. Just as iron sharpens iron; so, a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. When on the wrong, they will admonish in love, or receive reprimand with humility, conscious that faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

By way of good-will, conversations are held in confidence, hardly escaping the lips even if coerced to by the meddlesome. It is the essence of such a friend to be loyal in deed as well as in word without ulterior motives. On your behalf, they will offer a prayer to The Almighty One in secret for the good regarding circumstances beyond their understanding to resolve. Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so, does the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

Notwithstanding distance and the frequency of interaction, friendship founded on unadulterated compassion along with loyalty towards each other endures the test of adversity, frankly perceiving that life is encumbered with challenges more than smooth sails. It is synonymous to having or being a loving neighbour who will not steal nor rob his fellow. Neither will resentment nor hatred find harbour when differences arise, instead- communication of grievances is made and met with resolution together with forgiveness.

A good willed friend will not lust after your household, not for any reason. They will not utter lies, neither spread rumours nor participate in conversations that slander one’s reputation. Many have brought destruction on friendships due to untamed envy and jealousy, coveting another’s possessions. Dealing treacherously is a thought simply foreign to the mind of a true friend.

We ought to be this kind of friend. To practice and highly regard virtue, which amongst others includes kindness, integrity, loyalty, honesty, compassion, charitableness, humility (which is what one needs when a friend is exalted), patience (which breeds endurance in the face of adversity or differences) and, understanding which precedes true forgiveness when aggrieved. All is spoken and done for love, with love; for goodness sakes, for neighbourliness, without conditions for benefit. To be exemplary to the younger ones, to build a virtuous community. A good friend is priceless. Therefore, it is written, your own friend, and your father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into your brother’s house in the day of your calamity: for better is a neighbour that is near than a brother far off.

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