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We Have to Enter the Vastness of Life to Find Friendship

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We Have to Enter the Vastness of Life to Find Friendship

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Commentary by Ernesto Tinajero | FāVS News

To live fully, we have to recognize the vastness of life.

Today, when we encounter someone within the friend or foe question, the potential of that person becoming a friend falls so far short to fearing a possible foe.

In other words, fear closes the cage on the vastness of life within the bars of things. We look out and only see foes or objects born of stereotypes. We turn “the other” into an object — man, woman, Hispanic, white guy, conservative, liberal, gamer, etc. We can never be friends with an object.

Friendship has become rare for most today.

Remember our childhood? The vastness of life was still present and the mystery of who the other would be still lived. Friendship was as easy as asking, “Do you want to be friends?”

Now, we tend to hold tightly our wallets fearing a grift or con, or we judge another into being just another object. We know the other through our many judgments and close ourselves off to the vastness of life,

We have moved into a desert of friendship as our knowing the other has dried out our lives. Most of us confess at the most we have one friend that we count on. This desert of friendship has been confused for a crisis of manhood.

We know this because the crisis of manhood complaints have not changed for 200 hundred years, but the pain we see in men today has arisen in just the last few decades. The pain of men follows the decline of friendship. And while this decline hit men the hardest, women have also felt this.

So, how do we revive friendship? When so many are alone, how can we find each other in friendship?

True life will be found in friendship. Fame fades. Money cools within the pocket. Things owned are only distractions. A study of Harvard men since 1938 revealed this truth. We need friends for a life to be well lived. Even Jesus turned to his disciples and made them his friends on the night before his death. Yet, we have forgotten how to be friends.

We are advised to network for success, using others for the utility others can offer us professionally. This, of course, resides in the world of objects. We network and fill our phones with contacts, and the other remains a contact. Again, friendships lay beyond the world of objects.

We are advised to avoid bad people as friends. Jordan Peterson made this his rule number three. Yet, he followed the norm and gave no advice on finding or being a friend. A rule entering the world of objects will be the heat that dried out the morning dew of friendship. In the world of objects, friendship is banished.

We have to enter the vastness of life to find friendship. When we encounter the other in their vastness, in their own mystery, then we can approach the other in wonder. Wonder and awe open out into love. Here friendship blossoms. The living streams of another that we can only explore, but never fully know or control, only explore. When we explore another beyond our placing another into the world of objects by our snap judgments, we can ask, “Do you want to be my friend?”

In the exploring of the vastness of the other, we also explore the vastness within ourselves.

Such living blooms in true living beyond the world of objects. Such living carries risks, the risks of suffering as well as the possibility of joy, the risk of betrayals becoming real as well as deep connections that make us fully human. We risk as we open our hearts to the full color of life as well as to the probability of a broken heart. The monotone color of the world of objects may promise safety, but real living remains beyond our grasp.

Many of the critics of manhood have pointed to a lack of courage as a weakness in modern men. The courage to be means the risk of entering the vastness of life. To engage the other and life in an unfolding mystery to be explored. This is the greater courage than to dominating another, of only turning the other into an object that can be dominated. Courage to be confronts the vastness of life.

Do we dare enter into the risk of the vastness of life? Do we look to others as potential friends or stay in the world of objects? Can we again be like a child and see the other for the mystery they truly are? I can only answer for myself, and no one else.

This is part three in Ernesto Tinajero’s “Manhood Series: The Courage to Be.” Read part one here and part two here.

Ernesto Tinajero
Ernesto Tinajero
Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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