It’s hard to find good friends in this world. If our goal is to be happy, the best friends are the ones that support our meditation practice and respect for the five precepts which are not killing, not stealing, not committing adultry, not telling lies and not consuming drugs and alcohol.
Even if a person’s precepts are not perfect, if we are mindful, we can determine which friends are going to have a positive influence on our character. From a Buddhist perspective, there is more value in a person’s kindness and thoughtfulness than there is in qualities such as intelligence, wealth, good looks and fashion sense. That is because the former qualities lead to happiness whereas the latter can exisit without it.
If we learn to practice insight meditation, we can gain more confidence in the value of the precepts and a generous and kind attitude. With that wisdom clearly in mind it is easy to notice someone with those qualities who is worthy of our friendship. In that case, energy should be devoted to developing that friendship as an opportunity to gain merit.