The Importance of Being a Friend (to Everyone)
Written by Wallace Huey
In life we play many roles….
These are a few examples...
And the most important quality we can bring to all these relationships, is the quality of friendship.
Why is this so important?
One of the greatest spiritual practices is to be a friend to everyone. This is one of the best practices we can have to help us identify and then shed our many layers of conditioning.
We grow up in a society where we are expected only to be friends with people with whom we have no formal relationship and where we are a similar age. Our association with others is usually through some kind of formal authority association, where we are following prescribed behaviour patterns rooted in fear.
The person we live with is our father but we are unlikely to experience him as our friend.
The person who we learn from at school is our teacher, but we are unlikely to experience her as our friend.
The person who helps us with our work in the office is our boss, but we are unlikely to experience her as a our friend.
And extending outward…
The person who arrests us for drink driving is a policeman, and we are very unlikely to experience him as a our friend.
But what if all our relationships, both formal and family relationships were friendships, or if not friendships, were at the very least friendly. What kind of world would this create.
The father would still be responsible for the welfare of the family and it’s members, but this responsibility would be exercised using an awareness of what each member of the family needed in any given moment.
The teacher would still be responsible for imparting knowledge, but this knowledge would be shared with love and sensitivity.
The boss would still be responsible for the purpose and direction of the company, but this purpose would be communicated with passion and enthusiasm, with time set aside to listen to everyone’s perspective.
And extending outward…
The policeman would still enforce the law and hold citizens responsible for obeying it, but this enforcement would be carried out with love and compassion.
Because that’s how friends treat one another. And that’s one of the greatest spiritual practices, to treat everyone alike and everyone as your friend. Even to the extent of having friendly enemies.
That’s what the path of love requires. And that’s how we can shed years of conditioning.
Jesus is the archetypal Spiritual Teacher, and had many friendly enemies. Let’s look at what he said. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. And the way he was talking about, is the way of friendship. Jesus was not some aloof figure on a hill, Jesus was everyone’s friend.
He set the standard. Not only for Spiritual Teachers but for everyone.
So I invite you to practise being alike to everyone and to experience the rich and rewarding friendships that will develop in your life as a consequence.
Enjoy being a friend to everyone.
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