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Discovering new friends

There is something very personal and possessive about discovering and befriending strangers. It is different from being introduced to someone. Discovering a new friend is like finding an unexpected treasure when you're not looking for it.

What is a friend? A friend is someone you enjoy being with, not someone you need to be with because they have something or provide a service you need or want. Unlike a family member, a relative, or a business associate, a friend deserves no obligation. Instead, friendship is about reciprocation.

A one way friendship, in which one gives and the other takes, will soon die. It's not always obvious who gives and who takes, though. You might think you benefit from a friendship because you are always the one asking the questions and getting the good advice. But your friend, a good listener and a wealth of practical advice, may be getting something less obvious in return -- appreciation and respect.

Some people become instant friends. Others take awhile to get to know, and the friendship requires cultivating.

How do you know someone is a candidate? How do you know you will hit it off? The situation in which strangers discover and befriend each other is important. You could be at a party, full of interesting people, but you make no friends because you can't get past the short introductions into deeper conversations.

Friends like each other. Otherwise, they won't be friends. Do you like your friends? Do you enjoy being in their company? Why and how did you become friends?

Friendship, like a home, requires regular maintenance and tender loving care. This does not mean regular communication or even quality communication. You know you have a friend if he or she is available for you when you need the attention. But don't abuse it.

20 March 2004 Saturday

A friend in need is a friend indeed - some photos of some friends
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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