Billy Lee – July 2, 2022
About two years ago, my young friend, Li YiLu from Beijing, created for me this bilingual website: “Billy & The World”. It became https://Friendshipology.Net .
I started to invite various friends to write about Friendship, their thoughts, their experiences, and their stories. I also added a few of my own stories and items I found especially interesting like poems, cartoons or photo-arts.
Last week, my dear nephew-in-law, Rich Hogan, referred me to an article by Ms. Julie Beck of The Atlantic Monthly.
https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2022/06/six-ways-make-maintain-friends/661232/ Sadly to learn that Beck was actually saying “goodbye” to her Friendship Files audience after one hundred deeply perceptive Friendship Interviews in roughly three years. She concluded succinctly that there are six forces that help form friendships and maintain them through the years: Accumulation (time involved ), Attention ( being open to chance encounters ), Intention ( make efforts with joy ), Ritual ( special acts enhancing bonding ), Imagination ( different creative ways ), and Grace ( Forgiveness and The Space that creates for Connection and Reconnection – that feel nothing short of miraculous ).
I was inspired to evaluate what I have learned from the two plus years of https://Friendshipology.net . Yes, the 175 articles so far collected, covered many different aspects of Friendships. One wrote about Evolution of our Genes; one on Yi and Yi Chi and the Middle Way, one related how to introduce oneself to a golf group missing a fourth player, one resented and asked,” How can I really befriend these snobs ?”; one offered the essential principles in Mediation; one told how two long time friends got upset at each other arguing over a tennis call ( it was more about their pride than their eyes ). There were many wonderful Friendship quotes – from Aristotle, to Lao Tse to Charlie Chaplin. There were also beautiful photos of different animals nudging humans and each other affectionately and naturally, etc. etc. .
So, I have really learned a great deal from all of them, but among all, one indeed impressed me most clearly, simply, and holistically . It was from the story told by Norman Allenby, my Andover/Yale classmate. His story involved Shawn, a four year old boy who was having his first play date with Norm’s son Robert. Before crossing the threshold of the open front door, Shawn announced a governing principle of Friendship: “Be Nice Me”. Wow, I think that’s it, that’s what we all really want, need, and should try to follow as Our Golden Rule. To those of you who love to write poems, can you please write a poem or song for me- titled “Be Nice Me. No Hurt Each Other” Cheers ! Always Seeking Essence about Knowledge & Goodness.