"A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be."
Friendship is one of the central human experiences. It is a distinctively personal relationship grounded in a concern of each party for the welfare of the other. Its importance lies in the fact that the concern we have for our friends has a place within a broader set of concerns; it is both selfless and selfish.
I don't have a huge set of friends - I am rather careful with my affections - but I am lucky enough to have some very special people as friends. They embolden, encourage and help shape who I am as a person.
For some reason today I am especially thankful for my friends. I am acutely aware of what they bring to my life, the value and richness that would be absent without them.
So thank you, dear friends, both near and far. I am lucky - no, blessed! to have you in my life. I hope that I never take you for granted, for I know only a little of your worth and would be poorer without you.