Thoreau On Friendship

Here Thoreau is quoted on the influence of friends. The passage comes from his river book, "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers."
After years of vain familiarity, some distant gesture or unconscious behavior, which we remember, speaks to us with more emphasis than the wisest or kindest words. We are sometimes made aware of a kindness long passed, and realize that there have been times when our Friends’ thoughts of us were of so pure and lofty a character that they passed over us like the winds of heaven unnoticed; when they treated us not as what we were, but as what we aspired to be.
Photo from Library of Congress, here.