Warts and All
Andrew Sullivan, reacting to a reader email wondering how he can be friends with Christopher Hitchens, who is a drunk and hostile to religion, responds,
My own position with friends is to accept them totally, or not be friends. I have no desire for Hitch to be anything other than completely himself, and if that includes a fondness of whiskey, more power to him. I have no desire to change him in any way. His fearless brilliance, astonishingly wide reading and great wit are treasures to me and a lot of others.
Hitchens has accomplished more under the influence of whiskey than perhaps anyone since General Grant.
And I agree completely that someone is your friend as is or not at all. As the old saying goes, “A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway.” People change over time and, presumably, one’s friends have some role in that process. Usually, though, it’s a byproduct of shared experiences rather than calculated effort.