I’ve been doing some thinking on what it means to be a true friend. I live in New York City; one of the most over populated cities in the world. So then…why is it so difficult to maintain a friendship? I’m reminded of the Buddhist readings, where one is taught that nothing is really yours in the first place, so there is no sense in clinging to material things. It only brings you sadness, when it is taken from you.
Does this mean i don’t need friends? Surely not. The why isn’t what I am thinking about today.
I’m thinking about why it is difficult to maintain a friend. I think that sometimes we are too busy looking for things in people. Some of us look for a mirror of ourselves; some of us look for people who will stroke our ego, and never tell us what we do wrong; others look for anyone, and then become disappointed when the people they attract are just like them.
This is the problem I think. We look for specifics, as if we are going to marry a person. It’s a friendship, not a marriage. A friendship is an easy thing, folks. I’m not asking you to take my hand. Just listen to me. And if you encounter a person who is a bit negative, or complains a bit, have compassion. Don’t just coldly avoid the person, as if you are better somehow. None of us are better. We encounter the people that we do for a season and a reason. Everyone goes through a rough time in their life.
You may say, well this person makes me feel so down, when they complain about their life! To that I say, have compassion. Don’t let this person control your emotions! Your emotions are yours and you must take ownership of them. Don’t let someone else’s bad luck become yours. You are your own best friend, or can be your own worst enemy.
Art is simple. It is beauty. Beauty is an expression of who we are inside. Layer by layer, we peel them, until we find out the truth about ourselves. That’s the process of art. Let’s make it the process for friendship. No rules, or pre conceived ideas. Just the simplicity of having a community, and practicing kindness and compassion.