Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Emerson on Friendship

"But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the greater part of life is sunshine." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Friendship. What a beautiful gift from God. Do you have a friend in your life that has changed you? Pushed you? Saved you? Or taught you about life? There's no doubt about it, friendship—whether a lifelong bond or temporary encounter—is a relationship that is both powerful and transformative for those who are involved. Looking back, I can truly say that several of my friends have changed my life for the better, whether they’re still in my life now or not.

In his beautifully poetic essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson, the poet behind the inspiration for this blog, wrote on the topic of friendship in one of the most eloquent ways I've encountered. Please read his words and enjoy his spiritual message.


Emerson on Friendship

I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new. Shall I not call God the Beautiful, who daily showeth himself so to me in his gifts? I chide society, I embrace solitude, and yet I am not so ungrateful as not to see the wise, the lovely, and the noble-minded, as from time to time they pass my gate. Who hears me, who understands me, becomes mine, — a possession for all time. Nor is nature so poor but she gives me this joy several times, and thus we weave social threads of our own, a new web of relations; and, as many thoughts in succession substantiate themselves, we shall by and by stand in a new world of our own creation, and no longer strangers and pilgrims in a traditionary globe.

My friends have come to me unsought. The great God gave them to me. By oldest right, by the divine affinity of virtue with itself, I find them, or rather not I, but the Deity in me and in them derides and cancels the thick walls of individual character, relation, age, sex, circumstance, at which he usually connives, and now makes many one. High thanks I owe you, excellent lovers, who carry out the world for me to new and noble depths, and enlarge the meaning of all my thoughts. These are new poetry of the first Bard, — poetry without stop, — hymn, ode, and epic, poetry still flowing, Apollo and the Muses chanting still. Will these, too, separate themselves from me again, or some of them? I know not, but I fear it not; for my relation to them is so pure, that we hold by simple affinity, and the Genius of my life being thus social, the same affinity will exert its energy on whomsoever is as noble as these men and women, wherever I may be.

Want more? Click here: http://www.emersoncentral.com/friendship.htm

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