empathy

UNCONDITIONAL EMPATHY

For the past 10 years I have been going to Mallorca as a guest of my friend Guillem Ferrer. One day he asked me to talk about an ideal that guides all my activities. I said that the most important thing in my life is friendship. All my work is out of friendship.Resurgence & Ecologist magazine is a result of friendship. I have so many good friends who have contributed articles, artwork and money to Resurgence. The Small School has come out of friendship. Schumacher College has grown out of friendship.

Friendship is my primary principle and the bread and butter of my life. I live by friendship. For me friendship is the supreme spiritual quality. Friendship is unconditional – there are no ifs and no buts. There is no reason why somebody is a friend. You don’t say: I am your friend because you are this or that. Because you are educated, or rich, or intelligent, or handsome, or you are good to talk to. Such things don’t come to your mind. You have a friend because you want to be a friend. Friendship is all about acceptance and without any expectation. You just give, and you just receive. Friendship is rooted in deep gratitude.

In friendship you say only yes. When a friend asks you out of friendship, you can’t say no. There is only yes in friendship. If somebody asks me some help out of friendship, I say yes. And if I ask someone out of friendship, they say yes.

My friendship is not only towards humans. I also feel friendship towards Nature. I am a friend of my place and of my garden. I am a friend of trees and flowers. I am a friend of the bees. I am a friend of even the earthworms and the slugs and the snails. The weeds are my friends. Friendship is a term people use mostly for human relationships, but I use the term in a broader sense.

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