People of conviction, who stand alone, who pursue their chosen path — not only are such people good and trustworthy friends themselves, but they can make genuine friends of others. The bamboo groves of autumn are gorgeous. Each bamboo tree stands independently, growing straight and tall toward the sky. Yet in the ground, out of sight, their roots are interconnected. In the same way, true friendship is not a relationship of dependence, but of independence. It is enduring bond that connects self-reliant individuals, comrades who share the same commitment, on a spiritual dimension.
(Credit Daisaku Ikeda for the philosophy)