“Notions” of Friendliness

 

(Originally posted on a separate page earlier in the week, now moved to it’s own category.)

”Do you think Crested Butte is a friendly place?” This was a question that a friend asked me point blank and out of the blue, with no preamble a few weeks after my return to this wonderful place. And now, in the most recent “notion” of Mr. Norton, he also seems to be asking if friendliness is a trait that is perceived by those who live and visit here? These questions of openness are crucial, not just because of the economic benefits, but also because they provide the backbone for one of the spiritual imperatives of our times, as we move away from a culture of “my, me, mine” toward one of “we, all of us, and ours“.

While attempting to answer my buddy I stuttered, stammered and dawdled as my mind raced through a myriad of experiences, many that were very wonderful and extremely generous, and equally many that were less than stellar. I sheepishly admitted that “no, I don’t think it is.” Ouch.

But doesn’t this statement of mine to my friend really reveal at least as much or more about me, than it does this place, or the “other“. Even as those words were coming out of my mouth, a larger question appeared before my eyes–“Am I a friendly person?” Isn’t this the more important question? And if I were being brutally honest in answering I’d have to admit that for much of my life, No I haven’t been. And if I haven‘t experienced myself as friendly, wouldn’t this then color all of my other perceptions?

While sympathizing with Mr. Norton’s butterflies for the business community, I am led to ask, “Are there motives for being, or attempting to be, friendly?” Is the desire for money or the attempt to sell something the driving force behind that smile? Or does it derive from our intrinsic connection to the entire human race and sharing the wonders of our inner life?

These considerations were never near the forefront of consciousness for most of my life. Struggling to survive horrific conditions as a youngster led to a withdrawn struggle to survive in adulthood, insular, shut down, closed hearted; certainly not the prerequisites for friendliness. It only takes a small willingness to let go of and heal the past to then begin to see the vastness of the splendor all around us. Small steps become larger.

What would happen if our society and culture began to let go of the hoarding, greed and unsustainable entitlements of all flavors? What if gossip or bad-mouthing another never occurred again? Would we then outgrow our cultural adolescence? Wouldn’t a new human emerge, one that was capable of being in the moment, recognizing everyone before us, whether we knew them or not, as a sacred being, deserving of our attention, care and love? Wouldn’t that be friendly?

We are living amidst a great spiritual and cultural transformation, while also living within this glorious place. These lands exude great power. While immersing ourselves in this place, each of us can also search within our own being to cultivate an awareness of connection, thereby recognizing our opening and blossoming hearts. No one will remember “rudeness”. Friendliness, compassion, joy and ease will flow naturally.

May it be so.

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2 Responses to ““Notions” of Friendliness”

  1. So glad you posted this concept we would each entertain…namely, what is friendliness anyway? Why are we not friendly long before we act suspicious, doubting, aloof? I remember a guru of the 70’s ,Da Fee John , used to say there was only one question to pose in life. “Avoiding Relationship?”. I think this would apply to anytime we have an opportunity to be in deeper relationship to self or other. Maya Christobel http://www.theheartspaceblog.com

    • “Why are we not friendly…..?”. As implied Maya, I was conditioned to be unfriendly through my upbringing. Wow, so much to overcome and transcend there, and definately worth it! And yet my brother was one of the most friendly people around. Interesting how we can all have our own script to enact. In conversations with others it is just mind boggling and amazing how different some people were raised. We’ve all got our own particular paths and lessons to learn. My journey is my own, and as an adult, I can have no excuses for not becoming more well rounded, and that means more friendly toward myself and all that I meet.
      And thanks for mentioning Da Free John and his question. We used to say Les was like him, hmm?!

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