Who is a true friend?

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

Even in a world filled with billions of people, it's not easy to find a true friend. In our family, we treasure those friends who love unconditionally, who are sincere, who genuinely gain much sympathetic joy from seeing the success and happiness of others. 

What does it mean to have sympathetic joy? The sanskrit word for this feeling is mudita.

According to Wikipedia Mudita is defined as "the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being". It is important to note that this joy must not be adulterated by self-interest. The far enemy of this joy is jealousy(envy) and greed. The beautiful offspring of having sympathetic joy is more abundance and creativity in your own life.

I recently, shared on Facebook and Instagram, the wise words of Jeong Kwan. These words are valuable to be shared, as it comes from a self-actualised and creatively talented person not just a buddhist monk living in South Korea. One would know for certain that someone like Jeong Kwan would make one true friend! I have outlined her words below:

In my view, a true friend:

  1. Never make you feel guilty.

  2. Never make you feel obliged.

  3. Never make you feel like less or more than them.

  4. Notice your kids and not just their own.

  5. Are not prideful or insincere in their words and actions.

  6. Share their true feelings.

  7. They want the best for you.

  8. Makes you feel comfortable to be YOURSELF around them. 

  9. Are not jealous or envious of others successes.

  10. Are completely free to give as well as receive generously.

  11. Takes care of themselves and are kind to others, not out of greed or self improvement but out of compassion.

There is nothing quite like a 'true friend'. I pray and hope that you have many in your life and that you are one to others!

P.S. If you are interested in learning more about Jeong Kwan, I recommend that you find on NETFLIX:Volume three of Chef's Table. They have made a beautiful bio film on the talented monk who can whip up delicious vegetarian meals made mindfully called 'temple food'. In this short film, you will hear her speak the words that I have outlined above.