Making Friends

I’ve been wondering about the concept of making friends. I’ve moved a number of times, and each time I actively went into the world and made friends by engaging strangers. Basically, I would be giving parts of myself and seeing if they wanted to take it. After engaging a whole bunch of strangers through a bunch of different activities I would end up with a handful of people who received parts of me and vice versa.

This process made me wonder what a new friend really is. Is it a person with similar hobbies or background to me? Is it just two lonely people feeling less alone if they do things together? Is there a genuine connection on a deeper level with this small handful of people? Are there many different characteristics that could define a friendship that don’t necessarily overlap?

I guess the word that sticks out to me now is “making.” When you make someone your friend, you’re not necessarily giving them a choice but instead you’re forcing them into a partnership. If I say you’re my friend, does that make you my friend? It seems like this must be a reciprocated choice.

So instead of making friends I might be better off just loving and caring for everyone I interact with. Maybe friendships are more like reciprocated bonds of compassion. When two people can share piece and harmony together they will probably be naturally drawn to each other. Maybe making friends is like meditation in that you’re not actually trying to do anything. Instead your just being present with compassion and letting the universe do its thing. Maybe, as long as I’m putting myself into the world and engaging it in the right way, friendships will just naturally form when the timing is right. This concept just recently popped into my head so I’m not sure I’m convinced of its validity, but it’s interesting food for thought. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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