The whole world is in conflict, either in the form of war or disputes. In families there are conflicts in relations. If you observe closely, you would discover a conflict within yourself — your ideals and philosophy against the practical wisdom on how to survive the world. Your professional life is nearly always in conflict with your personal life.
Some blame the ego as the origin of conflict, others put the blame on religion, and yet others on different perspectives. In fact, the origin of conflict lies in division. We divided the planet into different continents, then into countries, then into states, cities, villages and towns, with each one of them in conflict with others. As if that were not enough, we divided humanity into different languages, religions, castes, creed, societies, and these different communities are always in conflict with each other. You divide your life into professional and personal life, and these end up in conflict. You divide your relationships between your own little ego and that of your beloved, and you suffer the conflict.
It is through this perspective that I look at friendships. The moment you label certain individuals as your friend, you unconsciously divide the people around you among friends, and those who are not. Note that the opposite of friend is not enemy, instead it is ‘not-friend’. Consider the whole population of the world. You might have few friends including those on social media, and also have few enemies, rivals and competitors. Yet, this combined number is far far less in comparison to the overall population of the world. There is a whopping majority of people who you don’t even know. Even among those you know or meet everyday, you do not experience anything — neither love nor hatred, neither affection nor jealousy. They are just there as fellow human beings, they are not your friends, but are not your enemies either. They are just ‘not-friends’. So, the moment you have divided (categorised) people into your friends and not-friends, through this division you have already sown the seeds of conflict. It is ironical that the gesture which in all sincerity was meant to tie people together, ends up their being in conflict.
People can bind together only through love, and love does not divide. It does not seek possession, it only gives out, distributes and spreads joy. One can make friendship with selected people, those one is comfortable with, but one can love all unconditionally, without any reservation. And it is love which brings humanity together. Friendship divides, love unites.
Image source: Friend Stock photos by Vecteezy