PEOPLE

The heart of friendship is reciprocity because people give what they want to receive.

Everyone has a family, close and casual friends, and work and play related acquaintances. And most of us treat strangers with respect. But the business and busyness of life leaves little time to pursue these connections with intimacy. Priorities are time dependent, of course, but you can find ways to put first things first. You can get your son or daughter out the door so they don't miss the bus to school. Just make sure they leave with a hug and a kiss.

If you hang out with people who do not share your passion and your values, your real friends can't find you. Friendships that matter develop when we give someone our sincere, focused attention. Listen to their stories and they will listen to yours. Share your feelings and they will share theirs.

So start with somebody you love, somebody you want to live for. Earlier this year, I struggled with a life-threatening battle against pneumonia. Staying alive was the only thing that mattered. And not just because Death was knocking on my door but also because I didn't want my wife to be alone.

Foster friendships with people who make you feel good. People you want in the theater of your life. Don't give tickets to people who make you feel bad. You don't even want them in the parking lot of the theater of your life. Those are not the ones you can turn to when life gets difficult.

Reciprocity is vital for a friendship to really matter. So find someone who goes beyond just saying they're friends or voicing their marriage vows. Find someone that proves their love by being your friend. Saying something doesn't make it so. Doing something is what makes it so. Better yet, find someone who sees more in you than you thought there was to see. Then get on your knees and ask her to marry you!