How to Befriend the World

I believe we are meant to love all others, with no exceptions.  However, befriending the world, in my view, requires specific characteristics.  We all may have unique perspectives on how to love all existence.  Given that, here is what I do to strive for this end:

Believe that every soul is precious.  I believe every being, plant, insect, and animal has a soul.  And every soul is a manifestation of eternal light and love and given free will.  Therefore, every soul is precious regardless of life’s challenges and strains.  We are all endowed with innate beauty and unique gifts.  We all sing a part in the universal choir.

Prioritize others over self.  In my view, the biggest secret to happiness is putting others ahead of ourselves.  That means prioritizing others with our money, time, love, and affection.  It’s a freedom you can’t describe in words.

Let go of all ego.  When we let go of our ego, we don’t feel life’s blows.  Without ego, there is never a need for defensiveness or anger.  There is only profound freedom in letting go of negative attachment to self-preservation.

See only the strengths in others; be oblivious to their flaws.  The Marriage Foundation taught me to only see others’ strengths and ignore their shortcomings.  But they say to do this within the confines of a marriage, as the world at large can be a harsh place.  But to seek enlightenment, I believe we must focus on everyone’s strengths and beauty and never their faults, with no exceptions.

When you focus on the beauty of others, you feel joy.  On the other hand, when you focus on other’s faults, you think negatively.  Therefore, you come closer to a blissful state by focusing exclusively on others’ strengths.

Have zero expectations of others.  If we expect nothing from others, we are never disappointed.  We are also never resentful, disparaging, or critical.  Instead, if we expect nothing but give everything, we enter a beautiful state of serenity.

Smile beautifully at everyone.  A female barista told me that, during her high school years, she was hated by everyone, called “ugly,” and even kicked around.  But she had the most stunning smile.  Her eyes lit up with love and radiated eternal beauty, and she spoke only kind words about everyone.  So, I nicknamed her “Pure Love.”

Nothing is more beautiful than a smile that radiates God (light and love)—nothing except the innate beauty of every soul, including your tremendous soul.

Feel the beauty of every soul you pass by.  When I walk across the street, I like to scan all the people and visualize their guardian angels protecting them and loving them.  I then want to replicate that divine love for the person, reveling in that beautiful feeling.  The Marriage Foundation taught me that giving love feels infinitely more delicious than receiving it.  That’s because we all have walls and filters preventing us from receiving all the love.  But we can feel the love we give others with no limitations.

Give generously.  Give as much as you possibly can to the people around you.  My dad is very generous with everyone.  It’s his way of showing love, mainly since he doesn’t express love through words as he is a quiet, timid soul.  But his gift-giving has had profound impacts on other’s lives.

I once gave a warm coat to the Drop-in Center.  It had my name written on the tag.  I used to receive the Drop-in Center’s newsletters, and in one of the newsletters was a story about an appreciative guy who received a warm woman’s coat with a name written on the tag.  Whether it was my coat or not, you never know the implications a gift given can have on someone’s psyche.

I’ve been sending my niece’s one-year-old baby electronic baby books with the hopes that it will make his transition to kindergarten less scary for him.  Even the tiniest of gifts can have significant implications for the receiver’s development later in life.  You may not be aware of the positive consequences of your generosity, but they are unfolding at this very moment.

Love unconditionally.  Learn to love others with no conditions whatsoever.  I take this advice to heart.  I strive to love others even if they were to, hypothetically, set me on fire, rob me of everything I owned, or gun me down.  That’s because true unconditional love means “no conditions.” In other words, nothing, no matter how severe, should stop our love from flowing.  As a bonus, loving the world unconditionally means we have no enemies, only loved ones.

I know a woman who befriends the world.  She loves people so much that she generates crowds of friends and admirers within weeks of frequenting new places.  Every day she makes a few new friends.  Her unique version of how to befriend the world includes mentoring others.  So, what might be your unique method of befriending the world–and perhaps even seeking enlightenment? After all, I believe you, like everyone else, are a unique manifestation of eternal love.