How important are friendships?

Piotr ‏@zuralski: you mention your wife, kids and people you know in your writing…but rarely your ‘true’ friends. How important are friendships?

ANSWER

Friendships are incredibly important. My wife, my kids, and people I know that I write about are all people who I love, who love me, who inspire me every day. These are my best friends. Some of these people I’ve just met. Some I’ve known forever.

Beauty can’t be seen without light shining on it. Your job is to light the inner fire so it shines bright. Anyone your light shines on is your family, your friends. If they try to shut off the light, then they are not your friends.

I’m Jewish but I’ll give a quote from Jesus, who I think was a great teacher of all things spiritual. It’s the last instance of Jesus’s mother appearing in the New Testament while he is still alive. From Mark 3:32

“And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, your mother and brother want to see you. And Jesus asked, Who is my mother, or my brothers? And he looked at those sitting around him and said, You are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister, and mother. “

Jesus wanted to be around positive people, people who felt about matters the way he did. People who inspired him and people who he inspired. These were his friends and family. There is no need to distinguish them. “Who is your family today?” is a good question to ask every day. Not that you abandon people but you make sure you don’t spend time with anyone who is going to try and snuff out your inner fire. It’s an important fire to watch over, to make it grow stronger and stronger.

This is the most important thing. I’ll switch from Jesus to Buddha. Buddha said, “A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.”

Always make sure your garden is tended with the most love and care so it can grow, be fruitful and beautiful. That garden is your family, your friends, the people who need you, the people you need to bring you higher and higher.

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