We think we know friendship.
Actually, we have completely underestimated it and it has become our undoing. The craziest thing is we haven’t even recognised it.
Friendship means so little to us now we almost hold it in contempt, dismiss it as we might a whining puppy dog wanting to be let out to pee. Why would we even consider looking at it to help solve our personal problems let alone the bigger social and global issues threatening our very lives? Friendship is weak, powerless; insignificant, right? Besides, we have bills to pay, children to feed, work to endure – many of us need to work more than one job.
I get it, friendship as we have come to know it, is pretty pathetic; meek, mild – you get the idea.
Unless…we have it all wrong.
What if friendship is like electricity, weak and powerless when we only see it as the static that raises our hair with a rubbed plastic comb. But, as we now know, electricity, when we learn its secrets, can be so powerful it can light up and heat the world. It can bring us technology beyond the wildest dreams of our grandparents, pure magic to the generations of ancient times. Who of them could have even considered something as expansive and powerful as the internet? It wouldn’t have even begun to cross their minds.
So, maybe we should divide friendship into two basic types, like we do with electricity. The first, our old notion of friendship, weak, inconsequential – the equivalent of static electricity. The other a new bold form of friendship – Neo-Friendship, or New-Friendship – the equivalent of the AC electricity supplying our houses, cars, refrigerators, and computers. The type that will fry us to a crisp if we disrespect it yet see us connect with our dearest friends and family over the airwaves if we properly harness it. Perhaps we should reconsider friendship and its nature, so it too becomes a source of great power and transformational change.
Of course, the type of friendship I am alluding to is that described in The Friendship Key. Perhaps the title too should be altered as it still reeks of the older version. Perhaps it should read as Neo-Friendship, unleashing a Great Power from Within, or New-Friendship, a Secret Power Revealed. It seems The Friendship Key is being treated as the meek kind of friendship most of us have come to know – the less powerful and transformative type. I find that both a shame and waste considering how much potential friendship can realise.
What makes New-friendship different to the old type?
To use the electricity analogy, New-Friendship is like learning the qualities to be able to fully harness it, as we might by building a generator.
What are these qualities?
They are its 10 components – the Ten Desires of Friendship. They are well described in The Friendship Key. These simple and practical ingredients bestow practical empowerment to us. On a personal level – such as making and keeping good friends and how to save or strengthen our relationships – or more broadly to unite communities, improve our work environment, and help us get a better, stable, satisfying job. We can even use New-friendship principles to transform economics, take back our governments, and use it as a guide to lasting peace.
I know that sounds all a bit idealistic or too over the top. I was sceptical too. And if I was reading all this for the first time I’d probably dismiss it out of hand; what a load of idealistic nonsense; it could never work. But once we begin to see we have been taught a lie; this isn’t how life, economics, and governments must be. Once we examine friendship in new and practical ways, we begin to glimmer realistic hope and start to see the simple steps we can each apply to actually make it happen.
So, if you read The Friendship Key and realise some of its potential please feel free to share this letter of introduction to those who might be interested, or perhaps just recommend the book. Better still, if you think it would be better re-titled, I’d be happy to hear any suggestions.
In the end, behind whatever book names we choose, whatever images come to mind, the aim of all this is very simple: to make our lives more satisfying and the world a safer, happier, more fulfilling, balanced, place. I am hopeful that if enough of us adopt and practice some basic principles of friendship – I mean, New-Friendship – it may begin to be realised.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live to see the beginnings of the transformation to that better, friendlier, more satisfying, safe, world?