“If you want more of something in your Life, be that something. If you want more Love, be more Loving. If you want to Live in a Peaceful society, be more Peaceful in your own Life…” I think Wayne Dyer said that, and I’ve found it to be true. It’s not often easy, mind you, but the truth of this in My Life cannot be denied.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” That’s from Gandhi, of course. It’s another way of saying that we create the Life we seek. If we want the world to change, we need to change ourselves first.
“If you want a friend, then be a friend.” That’s from a Louvin Brothers song. Good common sense. Who doesn’t need more friends? In this time of social media, we have lots of friends, at least in our digital lives. But to the point of the song lyric, who are we friends WITH? How does that manifest in THEIR Lives?
Friendship is a two-way street. That simple change of view may change your feelings about friendship. It seems obvious that friends do things for each other (Oddly enough, I’m thinking of Shrek and Donkey, here.), but most of us think too much about ourselves first. That’s the ego at work, and something that I’ve struggled with for years. So as usual, I’m writing this to myself, and covering it up by writing “you” or “we”. That’s another post, though…
There are lots of articles on the how-to of being a friend, including pictures. I’ll leave the mechanics to them. It’s in what I/You/we put out into the world that creates the world we Live in. That’s what I’m thinking about as I write this. What does being a friend mean to the world we Live in as individuals?
The first thing that comes to mind is being a LOT nicer to each other, especially to folks we don’t agree with. Civil Discourse has always been a challenge for the United States, even before we became the United States. We fought a war to become United, after all. Several wars, really. And societal change has been tough for us. But societies and cultures are made up of individuals. That’s where we can change. Don’t demonize somebody over a disagreement. “But THEY started it!” Maybe THEY did. So what? Frankly, that’s childish talk. Remember what your Mama said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” Debate the issues all you want. A difference of opinion does not have to lead to name-calling and churlish behavior. Be the change. Be the example. Set a standard of social interaction extending Grace and Mercy to everybody. All the religious traditions that I’m aware of call for this, so it’s time to practice what our religions stand for.
Honesty is another part of being a friend. Being honest about ourselves is a big part of this. It’s all well and good to insist that our politicians be honest, but WE have to be honest as well. I’m not saying we have to be perfect. What I’m saying is we need to see how we are, how we manifest our values into the world. Understanding our Personal Mythology helps do that. What are the stories that are generated by how you see the world? What thoughts went into the beliefs that shape your world? How do those beliefs shape your perception of the world? How do those perceptions create your world by influencing your actions? At the end of the day, it’s what we do and say that create our world. If we choose to react to others, that’s still our responsibility. A responsibility we should take more seriously. Creating and reacting have the same letters, but vastly different meanings. The results we get from creating with Honesty, then, will be vastly different from when we react by being dishonest with ourselves.
In the midst of the Civil Rights struggle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said, “Hate doesn’t drive out hate. Only Love can do that”. His definition of Love resonates with me:
“…agape is something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you’ve ever seen.”
Friendship is Unconditional Love, Honesty with yourself, and having the compassion and empathy for others that extending Grace and Mercy engenders. If we appreciate the Grace and Mercy that we have received, then we should be willing, even eager, to extend that same Grace, and to show that same Mercy, to others.
If you want a friend, then be a friend. Offer that unconditional Love to everybody you encounter.
REMEMBER – I AM offering Unconditional Love, in the spirit of Friendship, to all of Creation.
And So It Is!
~Inspired by The Season of Nonviolence.
*Borrowed in appreciation.by