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Man is a social animal. He cannot live alone.

In his journey through life, he comes into

contact with countless people but he cannot open out his heart to everyone. By instinct,
he needs some near and dear friend who can share his joys and sorrows with him. So he
selects someone who he expects would stand by him through thick and thin. Life would
be monotonous and dull without a good friend. Good friends, no doubt, are very
rare. Friendship is the marriage of two souls. Friends have no secrets between them and
they have a perfect understanding of each other.Aristotle defines friendship as a single
soul dwelling in two bodies. Friendship is one of the most useful things on earth. Two
persons develop friendship when they have similar tastes, similar nature or similar
views. They may be different from each other in certain things. But there is something
which serves as bond of friendship between them. Money and social status cannot stand
in the way of true friendship. The story of the friendship of Lord Krishana and Sudama
shows that friendship does not have much to do with social status or economic condition
of the friends.Friends may be true or false. Warning man against false friends,
Shakespeare, says, Most friendship is feigning ; most loving mere folly. Those who stand
by a man through thick and thin are his true friends. Selfish friends stick to a person so
long as he is rich. But when he falls on bad days, they leave him. Such selfish friends
should be avoided. A friend in need is a friend indeed. It is rightly said that prosperity
wins friends and adversity tries them. A full purse always attracts friends while an empty
purse tries them. Oliver Goldsmith rightly remarks:

And what is friendship but a name,

A charm that lulls to sleep,

A shade that follows wealth or fame,

But leaves the wretch to weep?

The choice of friends should be made very wisely. The choice of our friends can make or
mar our career. Acquaintance with many, familiarity with a few, friendship with one and
enmity with none, should be our guiding principle while making the choice. Unequal
friendship seldom lasts long. Friends should normally be almost of equal age, social
status and temperament.Real friendship is a rare blessing. When dark clouds of sorrow
surround us on all side, a true friend serves as a ray of light. He encourages and inspires
us. He cheers us up in our sorrow. When he shares our sorrows, they are reduced to
minimum. He serves us as a mirror in which we can see our good and bad points. He is to
us a guide, philosopher and friend. A true friend should be self-sacrificing and noble-
hearted. Charles Lamb must be thinking of some such friend when he said,

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother

Why wert thou not born in my fathers dwelling?

A faithful friend, says the Bible, is a medicine of life. Rather, he is a panacea for all
ills. But it is hundred times better to have a wise enemy than a foolish friend. We must
distinguish between true friend and false friends. A true friend is one who stands by us in
adversity. A false friend, on the other hand, serves his own interests. Our whole life is
liable to be influenced, either for good or for evil, by our choice of friends. Unfortunately,
however, many people make their choice in haste and, therefore, repent at leisure.