Friendly Fire

With genuine spiritual advancement comes the capacity and capability to have friendly relationships with one and all. Equipped with spiritual vision that penetrates beyond externals, one remains undisturbed by annoying idiosyncrasies, ideological differences, unpredictable personalities, and sticky character traits. We’re able to see something deeper, see the spirit, the underlying sincerity. We can see the heart. At this stage, we have no enemies, even if others view us as such. Indeed, the Bhagavad-gita explains that such friendly persons are spontaneously engaged in beneficial acts towards all living beings (sarva bhuta hite ratha). We could do with a few more people like that in the world.

Lofty, utopian and unattainable? Admittedly, although we desire these friendly connections with everyone around us, it just doesn’t seem to work out in real life. Fighting and friction seem an integral part of social intercourse. Why can’t everyone be friends with everyone else? Is the fact that we don’t get on with everyone a sign of our spiritual deficiencies? What could be the reason for people not liking us?

  • Our Problem – often, breakdown of friendships are due to underlying selfishness within us. When people smell agendas, duplicity and exploitation, to a greater or lesser degree, they run a mile. Lesson: examine yourself and avoid blaming others.
  • Their Problem – other times, people project their own struggles onto us and thus prevent a meaningful connection. Deep rooted issues of insecurity, envy and pride, naturally distance them from others. Lesson: be patient and don’t take it personally.
  • No Problem – sometimes, two people fall out simply because of misunderstanding and miscommunication. Random unsavory incidents can block what would otherwise be a healthy friendship. Lesson: don’t take things too seriously and learn to forget.
  • Natural Problem – since we are all unique individual characters, it is impersonalistic and utopian to expect that everyone will perfectly gel. Even pure souls have their differences, though it doesn’t block their appreciation of each other. Lesson: celebrate diversity and find atleast something to appreciate.

So, at the risk of sounding cheesy and cliched, lets make more friendly connections. Its a short life after all. As Abraham Lincoln said, “the best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.”

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