This is the second article in the series of Good Friends. If you landed on this page, please read part 1/2 in this series first.
Read this first…
So now that you’ve read about Mitra’s day, here is the follow-up.
Our good friends are around us all the time. But most times we are oblivious to them. So who among Radio, Lead, Alpha, Beta and Gamma is the good friend in Mitra’s environment? The answer is all of them. It may sound counterintuitive, but all people had an important role in Mitra’s day. Let’s see how they impacted Mitra and provided unique opportunities.
Radio friends are our well-wishers. They motivate, encourage and vocally appreciate our good qualities. True to their name, their frequency is easy to catch and broadcast. They act as an external validation and a reminder of the qualities that we often don’t recognize in ourselves.
Ways to navigate: Practice humility
When we encounter Radio friends, we should practice humility. Appreciation, especially a public display, can quickly go to our heads. It can also develop jealousy among people around us. Being a Radio friend to others is another quality that we can develop.
They are friends whose intentions are good, but their approach is not. A biased remark, an inconsiderate response, a hypocritical behaviour or lack of compassion are a few examples. So how could they be our good friends? See below.
Ways to navigate: Practice compassion
Learning from a teacher or a trainer is a conscious process. But learning by observation happens subconsciously. Beta friends help us practice the muscle to learn by observing others. Questions to ask ourselves: how would we act differently if we were in their shoes?
Also, everyone is a work-in-progress and not perfect. They give us an opportunity to develop compassion and non-judgment towards others.
Like Radio friends, these are easy to notice. Gamma friends and we are in a constant state of conflict. Their every word or action creates a reactionary response in us. We argue a lot and never seem to be on the same page. True to their name, their words have the highest penetration power as they trigger our innermost fears and insecurities.
Ways to navigate: Practice dialogue
Gamma friends help us practice the art of dialogue. It takes courage to have a dialogue with the one who brings out our worst. The best opportunity to practice dialogue happens in the most challenging circumstances. Gamma friends give us those opportunities until we perfect this art.
Lead element blocks all radioactive rays – even the most penetrating Gamma. Lead does not allow anything to go through. Our Lead friends are the same. They are the roadblocks in our life. They block us from passing an exam, getting hired or completing a project.
Ways to navigate: Practice perseverance
Lead friends help us practice the muscle of never-giving-up. We learn to persevere when we face resistance. But it needs to be mixed with inner reflection and innovation. After all, it won’t do us good to bang our heads against a wall. They give us the opportunity to relentlessly try harder and smarter to reach our goals.
Alpha rays have the lowest penetration power but maximum ionizing power. True to their name, these friends help us humbly and respectfully identify our innermost fears and insecurities. Alpha friends ionize our inner self so that we can fundamentally transform our negative tendencies.
Ways to navigate: Practice listening
Alpha friends help us identify the pattern in our actions and unearth the root causes of our issues. They show us a mirror which could be really ugly. We should practice the muscle to intently listen and then deeply reflect on how we can change our ways.
The above examples are illustrations to show that every person that we come across is a good friend. They offer us an opportunity to practice different skills in our lives. When we look at our environment through that lens, we can turn every situation into a learning experience.
Additionally, the behaviours depicted above do not compartmentalize a person into set categories. We all move within the spectrum of Radio and Gamma at different points in our day-to-day lives.
So the next time you meet someone in your life or workplace, please consider the above to build a network of good friends around you.
Disclaimer: The story and characters depicted in this article are a work of fiction. They do not resemble any real person or event. Mitra is a Hindi word for friend. They can be anyone and don’t identify with a specific gender, ethnic background or race.
If you want to connect for a virtual coffee chat, discuss an exciting opportunity or know more about the Nichiren Buddhism life philosophy, please feel free to reach out.