How To Be A Good Friend and Avoid Being A Bad One
Most friendships form when two people find common ground – sharing likes and dislikes and supporting each other’s way of thinking. However, Sadhguru explains, even apples and oranges can be true friends if they have the courage to do whatever is best for the other while still being loving and nice.
Good Friends Aren’t Always Nice
It happened last winter, a tiny little bird enjoyed the fall time a little bit too much and didn’t start its journey south early enough. It started a little late in the winter and tried to fly out, and it just froze and fell down. A cow was passing that way and it dropped a heap of dung. The dung fell right over the bird and covered it. The warmth of the dung slowly defrosted the bird and he started feeling good and started tweeting happily.
A cat was going that way. It heard the tweet, looked around, and saw that the tweet was coming from inside the dung. He pushed the dung off, pulled the bird out of the dung and ate him up. So, whoever heaps you up in shit need not necessarily be your enemy. Whoever pulls you out of shit need not necessarily be your friend. And above all, when you are in a heap of shit, learn to keep your mouth shut.
Good Friends Say What Needs to be Said
If you are a friend to someone, you don’t have to nag them with what is wrong with them; that is not the point. But at the same time, you must have the courage to be unpopular with people. In trying to be popular with people, in just trying to maintain some kind of pleasantness around you, see how much unpleasantness you have buried within yourself.
If you bury unpleasantness, if you put seeds of unpleasantness into the soil, you will reap fruits of unpleasantness. If you really have a friend, you must have the courage to be unpopular with him or her, and still be loving and okay with him. Right now, your friendships are always made on agreements, likes and dislikes. But even if you are apples and oranges, you can still be good friends. A true friend is someone who has the courage to tell you what shit you are, and still be loving and nice to you – that is friendship.
Good Friends Have The Courage to be Unpopular
On a certain day, three generals from the US Army met. They were on a tour of the Grand Canyon, along with their troops. The first general wanted to brag about the courage and the spirit of obedience in his battalion, so he said, “There is no other battalion like mine. The level of courage and obedience is so high. Real courage! Let me show you an example.” He boomed “Private Peter!”
Private Peter came running, “Yes, Sir!”
“You see this,” the general pointed at the Grand Canyon. “I want you to just take a leap across the canyon, now!”
The man just ran, full speed and took off. Obviously, you know where he landed.
Then the second general laughed and said, “That is nothing. Look at this.” He said “Trooper Higgens!”
“Yes, Sir!” Trooper Higgens arrived.
“It is an emergency. I want you to fly and go across the canyon and inform my officer there about this.”
The man flapped his hands, and you know what happened.
The third general just kept quiet. The others nudged him and said, “What about yours?” And they laughed, “No courage.”
Some of the general’s men were loitering around, so he said, “Hey you.” One of them came. The general said, “Now, look at that down below,” and pointed to a swirling, quick-moving stream, which was just two hundred meters from a steep waterfall. He said, “I want you take this little canoe, and cross the river.”
The guy looked down and said, “General, it looks like you have been on your whiskey once again. I am not going to do such a damn stupid thing.”
The general turned to the others and said, “See, this is real courage.”
Be a little more courageous in your friendships. Be ready to lose them, it’s okay. At least if you care, you must do what is good for the other, not for yourself.
Good Friends Aren’t Conditional
There was a doctor I knew who was a beer drinker. When I met him he was almost seventy years of age – a big man with a big gut. Sometime ago, he used to steadily visit a friend of his. Whenever he went, the friend would serve him beer and both of them would have a drink. Whenever they had time, either his friend came here or he went there, whichever way.
Suddenly one day, the friend met some Guru and he started doing spiritual practices and gave up his beer. So the doctor went about telling me this whole story very elaborately, and said that was the end of a great friendship. Never again did he want to go to his friend’s house because the man had stopped serving beer. Lots of friendships last like this. As long as something is flowing, it is there. The moment it is gone, everything is gone.
If you do not have a real friend in your life, you miss something. After all, what is a friend? A friend is another confused human being like you. A friend does not mean he is a perfect human being. It is just that when two people are relaxed enough to at least approach each other sincerely, then they become friends. Your friend is as much of a mess as you are, but if two people can be in an atmosphere sincerely with each other, he becomes your friend. You must have lots of real friends, not just one. If you do not even have one, it is better you do something about your life now.
Editor's Note: Whether you're struggling with a controversial query, feeling puzzled about a taboo topic, or just burning with a question that no one else is willing to answer, now is your chance to ask! Ask Sadhguru your questions at UnplugWithSadhguru.org.