The Buddha often emphasized the characteristics of a good friend. He spoke about a good friend as one who gives a kind of happiness based on knowing our interconnectedness, and that learning to be a friend to ourselves and being one to others is really the same thing.
Here are wise words about friendship from the Buddha; what better time to read them than at Thanksgiving:
He spoke about a good friend, or a true friend, as being someone who is a helper, who will protect us when we are taken unawares, when we are surprised by life in some way. This person will be a refuge to us when we afraid. He spoke about a good friend as someone who is constant in our time of happiness and in our times of adversity or sorrow, someone who will not forsake us when we’re in trouble. And as someone who will tell us their secrets and will not betray our secrets to others, and at the same time will be completely honest with us and warn us if they think we are heading off towards danger.
When we have such a friend we have a gift beyond measure.