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To Our Friends Who Just Stand By

2 min

Growing up my dad told me “to have a friend, you need to be a friend.”

In order to have a friend, you need to know what qualities of friendship you admire. Friends add meaning to life. 

Friends are there for you–  listening and experiencing life with you. These bonds among people bring purpose. 

While sorting my grandma’s bookshelf, I found a timely scrap of paper. It is a poem. My great grandfather used to write poetry, so he might be the author. The poem is titled “To our friends who just stand by”:

When trouble comes your soul to try

You love the friend who just ”stands by”.

Perhaps there’s nothing he can do —

The thing is strictly up to you; 

For there are troubles all our own,

And paths the soul must tread alone;

Times when love cannot smooth the road

Nor friendship lift the heavy load,

But just to know we have a friend 

Who will “stand by” until the end,

Whose sympathy through all endures,

Whose warm handclasp is always yours —

It helps, someway, to pull us through,

Although there’s nothing you can do.

And so with fervent heart we cry,

God bless the friends who just “stand by”! 


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Friendships like these fill us with gratitude and comfort. They are loyal no matter the difficult situation. Friends that stand by realize that you are taking a path that must be done alone; yet, they still uplift you. As Ben E King sang in Stand By Me, we are less afraid when others stand by us. They are present even if you are not. 

Standing by means being supportive while your friend is in the airport gate waiting in anticipation of boarding the plane. Until he or she boards, these friends encourage them to continue their journey of the uncharted path ahead. 

Standing by means those who check-in with you when you’re abruptly laid off from a job and feeling lost. It means sending simple texts or emails showing that your care.

True friends are those who stand by. 

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