Who is a friend and what is that which is known as friendship? It is the connection that generally exists between two individuals who are not related to one another on account of any family ties. It is also possible that people who are close relations too can become friends. Here we are dealing with this kind of friends although there is another category of friends spread beyond national boundaries. This category is known as pen friends who begin their relationship not through personal association but by means of exchanging letters. Very often a pen friend is someone who lives in another country.
This connection does not last long because it is mainly intended to gather information about countries, different cultures and life styles. Thus the relationship between most pen friends is temporary. However, there are instances where it develops into matrimonial combinations. The title of this essay is a well known proverb that has come down to us from our ancestors. At a glance, it is seen that it has made a distinction between a good friendship and a bad friendship. What it simply says is that a true friend will never run away from you when you have fallen into difficulty or trouble.
In other words, the true friend will stand with you through thick and thin. It is the noble quality of real friendship. In your childhood or during your school days or at your work place, you will come in contact with various people by reason of the fact that you have to keep company with them during your studies or work hours. This alone does not develop a bond of healthy friendship. Cultivating a true friendship is a long and complex process, leading to a life-long relationship, which is of mutual benefit. A true friend has several decent characteristics.
How do we identify such a person? He is honest, upright, selfless, humble, and reasonable and listens to advice. He is ready to ensure your well-being and out to help you whenever and wherever it is possible. Having such a person as your friend is a great strength for you. It is an invaluable asset that ensures your advancement. On the other hand, there are friends who do not have these qualities. Their behaviour is quite the opposite. They are with you till such time as they can receive benefits out of you and will abandon you when you are in difficulty – financial or otherwise.
Such treacherous people should be kept at a distance. An unknown opportunistic friend is more dangerous than a known enemy. We have read the biblical parable about “The Prodigal Son”. He spent all his wealth got from his father on his friends and became a pauper at last. All his friends abandoned him when he fell into difficulty. Then he understood the true nature of the friends who were around him. This story teaches us the lesson of selecting true friends and avoiding false ones. Thus a friend in need is a friend indeed who will remain with you all the time – whether it is rain or sunshine.