Friendship: “Where… glory begins and ends…”

March 1, 2013

By: Wayne Baker

Originally posted on Our Values

This week, columnist Terry Gallagher is writing the OurValues series …

These days, you can “unfriend” someone with a click.

So, what does that mean for real friendship? Real friendship means more than just enjoying each other’s company, laughing at the same jokes, or being able to borrow someone’s lawn mower. Many of the people we call friends on Facebook are really something else: co-workers, associates, colleagues, drinking buddies, whatever.

But there are harder parts to friendship. Like the honesty required to tell a friend he’s going the wrong way. And the confidence and trust that your friend won’t unfriend you just because you point out he’s going the wrong way. And the loyalty to remain friends even if he insists on going that way anyway.

Maybe the hardest part is that friends stick together through the worst of times.

Someone who really needed friends like that was George McGovern, the former senator and presidential candidate who died last year. Poor George took such a thumping in the 1972 election, losing 49 states, that his name became a synonym for political futility.

In his very gracious concession speech, McGovern talked about the staff and volunteers who supported him from the earliest primaries until the very end of that pitiful campaign. In honor of them, he quoted these lines from the poet W.B. Yeats.

Think where man’s glory most begins and ends,
And say my glory was I had such friends.

“And that’s the way I feel tonight,” McGovern said on what must have been one of the darkest days of his life up to that point.

How about you?

Do you have friends like that?

How do you describe a true friendship?

Care to see McGovern’s speech? Click the video screen below.