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 Friends, those that you choose to spend time with and that you love, are one of the most important things in life. Friendship is something that cannot be bought or sold. It’s just something that  happens naturally between people that have something in common, who feel similar to each other in a certain way, or who just like being close to each other being together. Friends can, of course, be of any age, of either sex, and of any nationality. It’s even possible, although difficult, to make friends with people with whom you don’t have a common language. There are many more or less important factors in friendship, each of which makes a difference to the quality and nature of the friendship, the depth of the friendship, how long it will last, and how important it is to those in it. I think some kind of shared interest or similar sense of humour is important. Also, some kind of shared points of reference, so that you always have something to talk about. Having some kind of thing that you can laugh about really keeps people together.

One of the factors of course is keeping up communication: how often you can see the friend, whether you are prepared to give your time and to put yourself out in order to be with the friend or change your own plans and the things that are important to you to help your friend when he’s in trouble.

It’s possible, of course, to have friends that you don’t meet so often. Sometimes when you can’t meet very often, for instance, if the friend lives in another country, the only way to keep contact may be by telephoning occasionally or writing to each other. I’ve got quite a lot of friends who I have not seen for years. But when we do get together, it’s just like we were never apart. So it’s very easy to reestablish an old friendship if it’s important to you, even if you have gone in different directions and have different friends now. However, ad I’ve spent a lot of my time, traveling over the last few years, I’m really used to not seeing my friends for a long period of time, even though I still feel a deep connection with some of them through the time that we spent together and the experiences that we have in common. However, it all depends on people, because for many, friendships become weaker when there is large distance between the two people, but not for me.

Every summer I attend a large gathering, a large international gathering of friends, called a “Rainbow Gathering”, which takes place in a different country every year. I’m sure to see many of my friends there each year as many of us feel it is important to meet each year. When I think of the good times that we’ve spent together, I still have feelings of love and warmth towards my friends. I’m so happy when I do see them.

Just recently, four of my friends, who are on their way to India overland, came to stay for a few days, and it was like a breath of fresh air to see them. It was like light coming in through the darkness. It reminded me of so many parts of myself. It was really such a gift that they came to see me. We had two or three days together, a really fun-filled and exiting time. They had never been to Budapest before, so I could show them my favourite places here. We went for a thermal bath together and a swim and we did a little bit of walking in the hills close to the city, and the last night before they left, three of us stayed  up until 4 or 5 in the morning, just talking about old times, about our plans, about how we feel about what we’re doing now. It was really, really wonderful. Also, my new friend got on very well with them as well. It’s so nice for me when different friends of mine become friends themselves. This is a very good feeling. It’s like some kind of family starts to form.

Many people feel that in order to keep a friendship strong it’s important to be there, to live in close vicinity to each other and to be able to meet regularly. If there are people who you see very often and you feel that you can share yourself with, very deep friendship can develop. Of course I think that the ultimate in this is if you are somebody’s partner, when you can really learn to love and know all the parts of each other.

It’s possible for best friends to be relatives. Sisters and brothers can often be really very good friends, but relatives, of course, you can’t choose. Then real and the first conversation with the person can become very deep, very quickly, and can really set a foundation for the friendship. I’ve friends, who you feel very close to, are long-standing friends who you know from childhood. For some reason, childhood impressions of friendship are very strong and these often last into adulthood, and there seems to be a different connection between old friends and new friends.

There is something about old friends, may be that over a long time trust builds up. Even if the person does something wrong or selfish or has a bad mood, you’re able to be understanding and patient with them and to forgive them because you know that person, you have a deep trust or love of that person which took a long time to build up. You can feel that anything the person does couldn’t affect the friendship in the slightest.

Forgiveness and tolerance are also important for long-standing friendships. Of course, we’re all human and we all make mistakes, and it’s very important to realize this about other people. I’m still in touch with some though not many friends from my early childhood, and even if they are far away from here, we really try to keep in contact by writing or telephoning each other. If you are able to keep good friends and to keep in contact with good friends, to keep caring about each other and keep trying to do things together, it’s possible to have friends for many years not to get lonely when you get old. For example, my grandparents have friends that they’ve known for many many years, from before the war began again. So friendship can really pass into old age, in a very active way.

From my experience, friends are often people you feel something special about, instantly, from the first moment that you meet. All of the very strong friendships which have developed in my life started very quickly. There seems to be an understanding when you meet people you feel very similar to, or who you feel very affected by, that you’ll become friends and the first conversation with the person can become very deep, very quickly, and can really set  a foundation for the friendship.

But I must say, that sometimes I find it very difficult to make friends with some people, even if we have common interests. For no evident reason, I feel some communication blocks with some people, while there are others with whom I feel I can be completely myself with and can completely express myself in any way that I feel. It’s important never to betray friendships. It’s also important to try to keep your word with your friends, so that if you promise to do something or if you say that you will to make some time to do things together, you try to keep your word and be true to your commitments.

If a friend is ill or in trouble, it’s important to put yourself out for that person to help to ease his or her suffering or predicament. They say that a friend in need is the friend indeed.

Another factor that is also incredibly important in a friendship is that you perceive the other person to be equal to yourself, not some way above your head, some unattainably wonderful person who you could never be as good as, nor as somebody who is of a lower level in ay way than yourself. There is a saying that communication, real communication, can only occur between equals, and I really believe this to be so.

Although people mostly find friends of around their own age group, it’s not important how old people are as to whether or not they can be friends. It may be a person of 80 or just a teenager. What is really important is that you feel the person as your equal and can talk about your feelings, your problems, your hopes and ideas you can share your insights and help to ease each other’s confusion about life.



have something in common – иметь что-то общее make friends with somebody – подружиться с кем-то keep up communication – поддерживать контакт, общение be in trouble – находиться в беде for instance = for example put yourself out – выложиться, отдать себя through the time – со временем a gathering – собрание, встреча remind somebody of – напомнить что-то do a (little) bit of walking –погулять немного stay up (until) – поздно засиживаться, не спать get on well with somebody – хорошо ладить друг с другом keep a friendship strong – укреплять дружбу fun-filled time – время, заполненное интересными событиями last into adulthood – продолжаться и во взрослой жизни long-standing – длительный, проверенный временем build up trust – добиться доверия do something wrong – ошибаться в чем-то affect something or somebody – влиять на что-то или кого-то forgiveness – умение прощать – от: forgive – прощать tolerance –терпение, терпимость betray – предать, выдать predicament – проблема, трудность suffering –страдание ease – облегчить


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