Why We Have Friends and Enemies

One important factor in our lives is our possessions, our thoughts, our feelings and perceptions. Actually, we hold on to these elements so much that we believe they make us who are. We often say or hear people say “this is just who I am, or “I cannot stand this person or that.”

Who am I

The truth about life is that almost everyone in this world is trying to come to terms with their lives; making associations and building friends or enemies in a bid to become happy. Everyone works every day to achieve happiness and satisfaction in life. In this pursuit, consequentially, many people, based on their past encounters, and experiences from others, form mental images that they use to look at the world.

These images are like frames, or lenses upon which we observe ourselves and other people around. This means that we are constantly judging and making conclusions hence creating more images and thoughts. These images appear so real and valid. We can spend a long time just trying to justify why we think something or someone is good or bad, and further spend a lot of time trying to justify our actions and speech either to others or to ourselves.

The way we see someone for the first time will greatly determine how we see them next time or whether we want to ever see them again.

Whether this is good or bad is not in my capacity to say, but let us break down how human relationship flourishes.

First, it’s vital to understand that the human component of any person is habit formations. This means that we are the sum of all our habits, good and bad, wholesome and unwholesome. To some people, the good habits outweigh the bad habits while others just can’t seem to get anything right, or so we think.

Knowing the difference between good and bad is a faculty of the mind. Our minds are constantly drawing comparisons and images from previous experiences of what good and bad is. The mind manifests these images through thoughts, which when ready, manifest in the form of speech, and actions.

A subtle element of our mind that we never really get to explore is the ability to see others from a lens free mind. A lens free mind is never an absence of the images we perceive, as this is natural, but an awareness of their presence. Such a mind is aware of the images therein but chooses to observe first without taking immediate action to like or hate someone or something. This process can be equated to delaying reaction before choosing to respond. When say, somebody says something that does not make you happy, the idea is not to get angry or sad right away, but to stop and evaluate the onslaught for any element of truth of falsehood. If it’s true, a noble person will acknowledge the words and thank the person while if false and not appropriate for that moment, one will gently explain why it is so.

Learning to remove the lenses of judgment in human relationship requires a very fine element of the human mind. Understanding the fineness or coarseness of the human mind is similar to a river or a creek flowing a long a valley. If the water is clear and fine, one can see very many things within it, both useful and useless. This way, one can easily remove a diamond gem inside the water with ease should you see it there. How about a dirty river? First, the sight is blurred and one cannot see anything at all. If, for instance, a dangerous animal is hidden within the water with a potential to cause harm, we may not see it but it will cause the harm all the same. Similarly, if we try to look for a gem inside the water, we may look for a long time and get little or nothing at all.

This anecdote may make one wonder how then we can make our mind finer. One sure way do this is through the practice of meditation. Meditation is a way of stilling the mind. To still the mind is to create a balance between awareness and concentration at a point in your body, usually the center of your body. The mind, being accustomed to wandering about with several thoughts is brought to a standstill. When we try to bring our mind to a standstill, the very attempt is as vital as the still mind itself. Because, every moment spent meditating is a positive energy gained in the right direction. Dare to let go of our lenses and start seeing people for who they are. This way, we shall create a better world for us all; a place with no enemies, but people who are not our friends just yet.

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