{Book Review} How to be a friend by Cicero

Book review time 🤓

I absolutely loved this little gem. How to be a friend was written in 44BC by Cicero (!) and is about deep, lasting friendships, which are becoming increasingly rare in this age of social media and swiping left or right.  A world of Yes-Maybe-No and ‘Nothing Serious’ or that requires too much effort.

The book is written as a conversation, a series of questions and answers and it highlights how to build true friendships and why they are a key part of our lives. Below are my favourite takeaways.

📖 Friendship. Wherever you turn, there it is. No door shuts it out, no time is wrong for it, and never is it in the way. We need true friendship in every part of our life as much as we need the proverbial water and fire. It makes our good days shine more brightly and helps us bear the burden of our difficult times.

📖 A faithful friend in troubled fate is found.

📖 To the degree a person relies on himself and is made sturdy by virtue and wisdom so that he depends and needs no one, so thus he possesses all that he needs within himself, to that extent he most excels at seeking out and cherishing friendship. Real friendship does not arise out of need or dependency.

📖 Friends make you a better person. No one can thrive in isolation. A true friend will challenge us to become better because they appreciate the potential inside us.

📖 There are plenty of people in the world who will flatter us for their own purposes. But only a real friend will risk our anger by telling us the truth, not just what we want to hear.

📖 A friend will never ask another friend to do something wrong. A friend will risk much for another, but not honour. If we are asked to lie or cheat or do something shameful, we should really consider if that person is who we think he is. Friendship is based on goodness and cannot exist when evil is expected of it.

📖 The reward of friendship is friendship itself.

📖 Like wine, an old friendship grows more delightful with time.

I’m curious. Is this a book you’d like to read?

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