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Saturday, July 23, 2011


(A quilt by Minnie Sue Coleman, of Gee’s Bend,

“Now we can begin to see the profundity of Aristotle’s notion of full friendship . . . [as a] relationship of mutual good will that is based upon the virtue, or true goodness, of two persons. It is based upon virtue because this kind of relationship can only begin when virtue or goodness is already present. It is also based on virtue inasmuch as virtue or goodness is the main thing that is willed, desired, and sought in the relationship. What does a true friend want most of all — the virtue of the friend: that it be, and increase! This fits with the insight above that a friend wants what is best for his or her friend. . . . [V]irtue is always what is best for a person, period.”

~ John Cuddeback, from
True Friendship: Where Virtue Becomes Happiness


The ancients argued that friendship could never last.
A few old friends, we walk on the mountain’s milder slopes,
Discussing their reasons. The wind lifts our coats.
An hour passes, and we find we are shaking our staffs,
We are out of breath. We must have been quarrelling!
Some prophecies, if you listen to them, come true.
Quickly we drop the topic, open the picnic baskets,
And pour the wine. How sad it would be to drink alone!
Someone recites a poem on the sorrow of separation.
It seems the famous sages were not unfailingly right.

~ Tao Tschung Yu, eighteenth-century Chinese poet

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