yogananda

Friendship

Help your friend by being a mental, aesthetic, and spiritual inspiration to him. Never be sarcastic to a friend Do not flatter him unless it is to encourage him. Do not agree with him when he is wrong.

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Be true, be sincere, and friendship will steadily grow. I remember a discussion with Sri Yukteswar about sincerity. I had said, “Sincerity is everything.”

“No,” he responded, “sincerity is plus thoughtfulness is everything.” He went on: “Suppose you are sitting in the parlor in your home, and there is a beautiful new carpet on the floor. It is raining outside. A friend you haven’t seen in many years flings open the door nad rushes into the room to greet you.”

“That is all right,” I said. But my Guru had yet to make his point.

“You were sincerely happy to see each other,” he said, “but wouldn’t you have liked it better if he had been thoughtful enough to take off his muddy boots before he came in and ruined the carpet?”

I had to agree he was right.

No matter how well you think of someone, or how close you are to that person, it is important to sweeten that relationship with good manners and thoughtfulness. Then friendship becomes truly wonderful and enduring. Familiarity that leads you to be inconsiderate is very harmful to friendship.

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