“Are there Parallels Between The Art of Cooking And The Art of Building Friendship?” Chat GPT Replied to Billy’s Question:

Here’s what Chat GPT spit out – March 22, 2023

Yes, there are parallels between the art of cooking and the art of building friendships. Both require a certain level of creativity, patience, and practice to succeed. Here are some examples:

  1. Creativity: Just as chefs use their creativity to create unique and delicious dishes, friends can use their creativity to find new and interesting ways to spend time together, such as trying out new activities or exploring new places.
  2. Patience: Cooking and building friendships both require patience. Just as a chef must wait for a dish to cook to perfection, friends must be patient and invest time and effort to build and nurture their relationships.
  3. Practice: Both cooking and building friendships require practice to improve and refine one’s skills. Just as a chef must practice their cooking techniques and recipes to perfect their craft, friends must practice their communication and social skills to build strong relationships.
  4. Balance: In cooking, the right balance of ingredients is crucial to create a harmonious dish. Similarly, in building friendships, the right balance of effort and time is essential to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship.
  5. Communication: Communication is vital in both cooking and building friendships. Chefs must communicate with their team to create the perfect dish, while friends must communicate their thoughts and feelings to build trust and understanding.
  6. Trust: Just as diners trust chefs to create delicious and safe food, friends need to trust each other to be honest, supportive, and reliable.

In conclusion, the art of cooking and the art of building friendships share many similarities. Both require creativity, patience, practice, balance, communication, and trust to succeed. By nurturing these qualities, we can create delicious meals, strong relationships, and lasting friendships.

 Billy’s Comments: My next question may be: ,”How to make a Friendship Stew?” ___________________________________________________

Food makes Friends (according to Chat GPT)

By Mike Sterling – March  19, 2023

I asked Chat GPT how sharing a meal can help make better friends … 

I couldn’t have said it better..

Sharing a meal can help make people better friends in several ways:

  1. Builds trust and openness: When you share a meal with someone, you’re sharing an experience that requires trust and vulnerability. It’s an opportunity to open up to one another, share stories, and be present with each other. This can create a stronger bond and foster a deeper level of trust between people.                              
  2. Creates a sense of community: Food has the power to bring people together and create a sense of belonging. When you share a meal with someone, you’re creating a shared experience and a sense of community. This can help foster a sense of belonging and connectedness between people, which can lead to deeper and more meaningful friendships.
  3. Sparks conversation: Food can be a great conversation starter. Whether you’re discussing the flavors of the dish, the ingredients used, or the cultural significance of the food, there’s always something to talk about. This can help break down barriers and create a more open and engaging conversation between people, leading to stronger friendships.
  4. Offers opportunities to show care and affection: When you cook for someone or share a meal with them, it’s a way of showing care and affection. It’s a tangible way of expressing your appreciation for someone and can help build a stronger emotional connection between people.

Overall, sharing a meal can create a space for people to connect on a deeper level, build trust and openness, create a sense of community, spark conversation, and show care and affection. All of these factors can help make people better friends and strengthen the bonds of friendship.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _  _  _ _  _ _ _ _ _

Billy’s Comments:

It helps when the food is delicious, the setting is good, and there is no rush.



I have two friends whom I have not yet met face to face, although we

have met via Zoom once and exchanged emails only a few times. I


OMNIBUS FRIENDS “.  I truly love, admire, and respect them.

JOSHUA FREEDMAN is a specialist on Emotional Intelligence, an

author, and CEO at SIX SECONDS, a non-profit EQ NETWORK

dedicated to teaching Emotional Intelligence around the World.

 <www.6seconds.org> <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_Freedman>

RICK HANSON, Ph.D. is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s

Greater Good Science Center , founder of  Wellspring Institute for

Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and many times New York

Times best-selling author.  

<amazon.com/Rick-Hanson Books/s?k=Rick+Hanson&rh=n%3A283155>

Amazingly, our Friendship grows as I faithfully read their

weekly e-messages. They truly nurture me spiritually.

This week, Six Seconds wrote about “How to get more JOY from

FREUDENFREUDE.”  Definition of FREUDENFREUDE is simply “Taking

 pleasure and enjoying another person’s success.” ( Schadenfreude is

just the opposite – Taking pleasure in other’s Misery.) 

I actually experienced this unique Feeling of Joy recently when I

congratulated Will Schwalbe and Brian Wong’s on getting their books

published. Will’s “We Should Not Be Friends” and Brian’s “The Tao of

Alibaba” are truly much needed contributions to our World.

Rick Hanson introduced his CHANGE YOUR MIND – Relationship

Program- just after THE STRONG HEART. 

He presented his programs in a joyful, and mellow caring tone

and demeanor. The graphic images used especially help many of us

feel and connect with his messages. For example:

Something that bothers you about another persons ?
Something that blocks your future self-expression ?
Something that you want to be more motivated for ?

I truly Love, admire, and respect these two fellows, because I believe

that they are sincerely doing what they do to benefit the World, and

they do it so effectively.




The TAO OF ALIBABA – Inside the Chinese Digital Giant that is Changing the World.    by Brian A.Wong

Billy’s Thoughts

I am so grateful to have received a signed copy of this book from my FF Brother, Brian A. Wong. THE TAO OF ALIBABA elicited most optimistically how Jack Ma and his Alibaba Team achieved their stupendous success from the start – with NO TECH, NO PLAN, and NO MONEY. In praising THE TAO OF ALIBABA, Dr. Parag Khanna, International bestselling author of THE FUTURE IS ASIAN, suggested, ” This book will teach entrepreneurs how to build a global business better than any MBA course ever could.”

For me, I was especially impressed by Jack Ma’s advice to Brian, when the latter was thinking of striking out on his own to achieve meaningful contributions. Jack obviously knew Brian’s personality and capabilities very well already. His advice to Brian was succinct and specifically suited: “ Go deeply explore some poorest locations and communities.” I think Jack knew that Brian will find the True Compass, and Opportunities and Urgent Challenges are waiting there in abundance for solutions.

Helping and Caring to uplift people in need – inclusively, intelligently, and determinedly – is essentially what THE TAO Of ALIBABA is about. I also learned from this book that Teaching, Educating, and Sharing Knowledge – proudly yet humbly – are important in our efforts to serve the World together. We know that Jack Ma is a superb LEADER-Teacher. Brian has similar Capabilities and Compassion. THE TAO OF ALIBABA unquestionably is a very helpful Global Teaching Tool. Thank you, Brian, for sharing your unique personal experience with all of us. You are a dear personal friend, and you are a true “Friend of Our World”.




By Billy Lee – PA 1951

Norman Allenby, Bob Doran, Billy Lee , and George Rider met at Phillips Academy Andover as first year students in 1947. They have stayed in touch over the years and recently came together as they reached 90, to propose the launching of an Intergenerational Historically Memorable Project to commemorate Andover’s Contribution in Educating Global Teenagers. Particularly meaningful to them are Andover’s NON SIBI motto and the Diversity and Cross-cultural Inter-connectedness encouraged at this very special Melting Pot Community.

Billy understands that Andover’s “Non Sibi” means “Not For One’s Self ”. It actually implies “Non Sibi Sed Aliis” or “Not for Self but for Others” and “Non Sibi Sed Omnibus” or “Not for Self but for All”. The Bond connecting Norm, Bob, George, and Billy is not a commonly social one. They are bonded by the Spirit of Non Sibi learned at Andover. In their separate lives, each had done laudable deeds- Not for Self but for Others. Norm promoted Water Reuse. Bob promoted Culture and Art. George lifted underprivileged youths to gain better education. Billy attempted to build Good Feelings between U.S. his father and China his mother. Billy and Norm went to China together to introduce Norm’s Bio-chem Water Purification System. Bob contributed to Billy’s Chinese Children’s Environment Art Exhibitions throughout US. for two years. As our class correspondence secretary, George always mentioned Billy’s project in every PA Alumni issue.

Billy is thankful for Andover’s emphasis on the School’s Motto, in words as well as in deeds. The school is purposefully in service to its own community as well as the society at large and tries to make both more inclusive and equitable.

Billy recently recollected a few incidents at Andover when Non Sibi or True Caring was truly felt:
1  Summoned to Dean Benedict’s office. Instead of being disciplined, he was told that his father had financial difficulty, but Andover had a job for him at the Common’s Kitchen. Dean Benedict gave Billy a firm hand squeeze. Ms. Dickey, the Dean’s secretary, gave Billy the warmest smile.

2  Mrs. O’Conner from the town of Andover did laundry for Andover students. Billy was the delivery boy. She always prepared Tea and cookies for Billy. She always asked about Billy’s family in China.

3. Gordon Hammond ’50 helped Billy do his homework when Billy could not fully understand what he was reading. Gordon invited Billy to Gordon’s New Hampshire home where Billy first tasted fermented apple cyder.

4  House Master Harold Howe took Billy and a few other Andover students who couldn’t go home on Thanksgiving to go climb Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. Billy learned about sharing Group Fun in the Great Outdoors.

5  English Teacher, Hart Levitt, volunteered his private time to coach Billy for the Senior Essay Reading Competition. Hart Levitt’s advice: “Speak with your Heart. Never Mind too much about Correctness.” Billy shall always remember him as Mr. “HeartLevitt”.  Although the title of that Essay was ” Why I Do Not Want to Become An American Citizen ?” Billy became An American Citizen and now considers America his Father and China his Mother, and he must do what he can to sustain that Good Relationship.

6  Of course, Abbie Emmons from Abbot first taught Billy how to dance and how to explore Goodwill Friendships. Reach out and smile warmly. That’s the Non Sibi Spirit !


WE SHOULD NOT BE FRIENDS – The Story of a Friendship – by Will Schwalbe – Billy’s Thoughts:

Will Schwalbe and Chris Maxey, in my opinion, are destined to become friends.  They are both likable human beings who very much wanted to be liked. They basically believed in the value of Friendship from the start and was willing to risk the full Senior Year at Yale– two nights every week- to mix with fourteen especially diverse classmates most of whom they did not know well. BZ, Berzelius Senior or Secret Society at Yale indeed brought them together, and the BZ’s Audit tradition indeed encouraged them to explore personal differences and find beauty in the other persons.

The story focused on Will (a Nerd) and Maxey (a Jock) joining BZ. Will is also Gay while Maxey became a Navy Seal. Normally that is not going to mix well. It took time to learn about one another. It took many special moments and the right atmosphere to spark connectedness and eventually intimacy. The book described their growing friendship from Bright College Year, to Twenties and Thirties, to Midlife, Forties, Fifties, Middle Fifties, Pushing Sixty, and Coda.  I salute the two fellers for being honest and sincere – more importantly civil and respectful- and indeed their conscientious efforts to keep good vibes continuing. Each feller is intrinsically Loving and Lovable and each possessed amazing abilities and character. Their separate life stories are genuinely impressive notwithstanding.

I truly believe that The BZ Audit Tradition indeed challenged their quest to form Friendship with different contrasting personalities.  Indeed, BZ had a reputation for emphasizing Diversity. It was the first among the Secret Societies at Yale to admit Black members. It was the first to welcome Female members. I believe I was recruited partially because I came to the U.S. from Shanghai, China. The Audit Program was carefully guided, and it has been proven to be very successful. BZ’s Mission: Achieving Insight thru Open, Honest, Exchanges of Experiences – a Place for Contemplation & Reflection- Develop Good Characters, Tolerant of Others- Forging links, Mind to Mind, in a Chain Unbroken.

Place of Engagement is significant to me, an Architect. For Will and Maxey, their magic place is the Roof of the Hall. The need to climb up thru a hatch and to find open sky must have affected their mind and opened their hearts.

I also believe in Angels. For me there is clearly a Third Person in this amazing story. On top of Page 170 David Singer yelled at Will: “He’s hurting. A lot. Just fucking call him.” Will called Maxey who was in distress. Very often a Friendship is guided or saved by a caring Third Friend.      ___________________________________________________________________________+


Taken from an article by Art Salzfass – Rossmoor Ukelele Club ( RUC )

Propinquity is the phenomenon of forming a bond between people you share some physical or psychological proximity with. Creating tight interpersonal bonds with the people who are around us most often is a natural human thing. According to Wikipedia, two people living on the same floor of a building have a higher propinquity than those living on different floors.

Propinquity implies being connected. It can come from spending time in a place “where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.” There you hang out together and become a fixture.

 A recent study found it takes about 50 hours of propinquity to make a casual friend; 90 hours to make a real friend; and about 200 hours to create a close friend.

At Rossmoor, there is one big club, the RUC, and lots of subgroups each of which meets at a different time so members get to feel they belong in many ways. Each member can be part of an extended community and has several opportunities to bond with the other members: to develop friends, to have experiences together, to share adventures, to sing and play together, to laugh together. That’s why people join; that’s why people stay. Kinship – the benefits of belonging.

BILLY”S COMMENTS: As a socially- concerned Architect, I am especially interested in the designs of such places – the physical and psychological environments for the various social activities. Architects should focus more on the design of SOCIAL GATHERING PLACES – be they Coffee Shops, bars, Gyms, Swimming Pools, Reading Rooms, etc. etc. etc.