If asked, many people would say that their friends are some of the most important people in their lives. However, sometimes it is hard to recognize the value of a friend and see exactly how much they do for us and make our lives better. Charles Caleb Colton once said, “True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost." Colton points out the high value of a good friend, but more importantly he suggests that friendship itself is ambiguous and hard to define: something that can be taken for granted and go unnoticed until it is gone. If you asked those same people to define their friendships, you would probably receive a wide variety of answers, with some common threads. For most people, friends are people who know you inside and out, can tell you things that you cannot tell yourself, and most importantly, they support and care for you even in the roughest times of your life.
True friends are those people from whom you never want to be apart, who know you so well that they can practically read your thoughts. Growing up, there was a girl named Anita who lived a couple streets down from me, and we had that kind of friendship. We could spend the entire day together, talking, playing softball, and simply enjoying hanging out with each other. After such a full day, we could then go home and call each other, because we still had more to say. We told each other our deepest, darkest secrets, and it was okay, because we understood each other. True friendship simply cannot last without building this type of affection and trust.
However, friendship is not always so bright and happy. Sometimes, the most important thing that a friend can do for you is to make you see things that you don’t want to see, even if it means risking your anger. For example, in the movie The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler’s character, Robbie Hart becomes a good friend to a waitress, Julia, helping her to plan her wedding. However, when Robbie finds out that Julia’s fiancé is a creep who is cheating on her, he decides that he needs to tell her and stop her from making a really poor life decision. Even though he knows that Julia will be extremely hurt by this knowledge, Robbie knows that she will be much better off by knowing the truth. Robbie is an example of a great friend because he refused to let her make such a bad decision, even if it meant risking his own friendship with her.
While taking a stand and refusing to let you make decisions is indeed an important part of being a good friend, friendship isn’t always quite so dramatic. Simply by being there, caring and supporting you no matter what, friends can show you just how important you are to them. My friend, Sharon, showed me the depth of our friendship when she refused to let me push her away. When I was a freshman in high school, my grandfather became very ill with cancer and died in January. It was an extremely hard time in my life, and rather than deal with the pain, I began shutting down, not talking to any one. I lost a lot of friends that year, but Sharon refused to leave. She would come over to my house everyday simply to listen when I felt like talking and to give me a hug when I didn’t. On the night that my grandfather died, I called Sharon, weeping uncontrollably, and asked her to talk to me about anything so that I could take my mind off of the situation. I am not sure that I would have made it through my grandfather’s death without the love and support that I received from my friend Sharon.
Beautiful, dangerous, and heart-wrenching, friendship is not something that can be easily defined. It is something that must be seen, lived, and experienced.. Poets can write about it, musicians and sing about it, but until you make a true friend, and become one in return, the definition of friendship will always be a bit slippery and hard to hold onto. From my experience, this much I know is true: friends are those people who love you for who you are, and who you want to be. They know your deepest secrets and understand because they have the same secrets. They are not afraid to tell you the truth when you really need to hear it, and most importantly, they will always be there for you. Albert Schweitzer once said “Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." So, to my friends who have rekindled my light, I thank you.
Example Essay Questions:These questions will help you to look for the things that make essays really excellent. Read the essay on the backside of this sheet and then do the following things:
Circle the attention grabber.
Find and highlight the thesis.
Find and highlight topic sentence of each support paragraph.
Find and highlight the concluding sentence of each support paragraph.
List the main idea of each support paragraph.
Support paragraph 1 - Support paragraph 2 - Support paragraph 3 -
Underline the transition between each of the support paragraphs. (It may be the same as the as the topic sentence or it may come before the topic sentence.)
Looking at how the author transitions from one body paragraph to the next, explain why he or she organized his or her ideas in this order. In other words, how does the main idea of each support paragraph lead to or relate to the main idea of the next paragraph?
Circle transition wordswithin paragraphs.
Circle the essay’s concluding thought. Is it a quote, thought provoking question, or dramatic statement?
(10) What is one specific thing about this essay that you want to try in your own writing? Use examples. (Do NOT just say: “I like the attention grabber!” Instead, say, “I like how the author uses marriage vows as an attention grabber because everyone is familiar with marriage vows and readers will be intrigued to find out how the essay will relate marriage and loyalty. It also connects to the third support paragraph!)