Friends and Enemies: The Malleable Keys to Peace

Avengers

Avengers Legos

Photo credit: Dunechaser / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

My five year old son has tons of friends. Part of the reason why he is so blessed is because he calls anyone he likes, plays with, talks to, or looks at his friend.

“My friend is digging a hole to bury Darth Vader in,” Jett mentions as we leave the park.

“Which friend is that? What is his name?”

“I don’t know his name. He is just my friend.” Looking at me like I don’t know what friend means.

The look might be justified. Maybe as we grow older we forget what a friend is. I can’t tell you how many people have questioned me about my friendships. I am/used to be friends with some pretty famous people. Other “friends” would always say things like, “you’re not really friends with so-and-so. Just because you met someone does not mean that they are your friend.” I would counter, “Well, I’m invited to their wedding next month. What does that make me paparazzi?”

Nowadays, if I even mention the word friend in regards to someone from the blogosphere, people just walk away as if I’m talking about an imaginary Stormtrooper. When we make so many restrictions on who are friends can be, is it any surprise that we have trouble finding peace?

In an effort to expand the definition of friends, I’ve set up the following comparison.

Real Life Friends Blogging Best Friends (BBFs)
Length I’ve known these friends for about a year and a half now. They are the parents of my son’s best friends pictured above. I started blogging in October 2012,so I’ve known most of my BBFs for less than 5 months
Frequency I see these friends every week usually at my son’s school, basketball practice, or kung fu. I have never met my BBFs in person, but we “talk” almost everyday.
Depth We really don’t talk about anything deeper than the next birthday party. Sometimes I will talk to the fathers about sports. For example, when we talk about films, we discuss good films to take our kids to. My BBFs and I discuss everything in depth. I know their spirituality, hopes, fears, insecurities, and loves. When we talk about films, we discuss films that have changed our lives.
Intimacy I usually shake hands with these friends. I tried hugging the mothers, but was met with some awkwardness. I think I might have told one couple that I like spending time with them. I {{{Hug}}} my BBFs everyday in comments, tweets, and posts. I’ve told many of my BBFs that I love them.
Trust I trust these friends to look out for my children. I haven’t revealed much sensitive information to them, so I’m not sure how much I can trust them as a confidante. I have revealed parts of my dark side to my BBFs, yet they still seem to “like” me, so I trust them as confidantes. Many of my BBFs have taught me how to be a better father, so I would trust them with my children.
Service We help each other out by watching each others kids when one parent is late. We sometimes serve together as volunteers at school or church. My BBFs have guest blogged for me, provided me with free graphic design services, re-blogged my posts, constructed advertising campaigns for a cause I started, and gifted me with custom artwork. We are working together to make the world a better, more peaceful place.

I’m not saying that one type of friend is better than another, but why restrict friendships to the first column?

I recently learned a term called Positive Sentiment Override. The best example I can give is when my two year old son poo-pooed in the bathtub. I ran in the bathroom screaming, “Fox! What the hell are you doing?” I was livid seeing the floaters and flotsam that was contaminating the tub, toys, and toddler. My son, standing in the miry pit, turned away from me and said, “Daddy, wipe my butt-butt.” Suddenly, I was filled with love, tenderness, and appreciation for this little Buddha. Positive sentiment trumped material reality. No matter how negative the circumstances, we can override them with positive sentiment.

Why can’t we have Positive Friendship Override?  When I am knee-deep in crap in the material world, I turn to my BBFs for a wave of positive energy. Bloggers for Peace has been an amazing Positive Friendship Override for me. My  BBFs remind me of the Avengers. The Avengers were the least likely of friends. I mean, who can be friends with the Hulk, right?  Agent Colson’s death solidified a friendship that saved the world. Couldn’t our friendships with the least likely of friends save our world?  God knows we’ve had enough senseless deaths to bond us together.

I’m broadening my definition of friends. I now consider Bob Marley, Martin Luther King, Thich Nhat Hahn, the Dalai Lama, and Jesus my friends. I may not have had the chance to meet them, but they have gifted me with so much love and wisdom. Maybe if we start considering more people our friends, we will stop making enemies.

My five year old son doesn’t have an enemy in the world. When someone is mean to him, he stops playing with them. A few weeks later, he will say hi to someone on the playground. “I thought that kid was mean to you?” I ask.

“He was, but we’re friends again,” my son replies looking at me like I don’t know how friends act.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

How do you define your friends? In what ways does this definition serve and/or limit you? Please share.

134 comments on “Friends and Enemies: The Malleable Keys to Peace

  1. Thank you for this most interesting post. My husband and I often talk about what a “real friend” is. We have come to the conclusion that colleagues you get along with and other people you meet through work (including famous people) are not necessarily friends. Some are, but most are not.

    Even people who come to your house and who you spend time with outside of work usually drift away when you are no longer working in that industry.

    But online friends are different, as you explain so well above. I heard someone say today on the radio that social networking was like “having thousands of pen friends”. Many of them are real friends, even if we haven’t met them in real life.

    If millions of people around the world who would otherwise be strangers are calling each other “friend”, surely this goes a long way toward promoting peace, particularly between people of different nationalities, races, creeds and cultures. It can only be a good thing.

    • Kozo says:

      I agree Caron that online friends can change the way the world interacts and promote peace. I have a number of blog friends from countries that I am completely ignorant about. These friends help me understand the struggles, challenges, and common humanity in all parts of the world.
      In regards to what you said about friends who drift away. I beg to disagree. I have a number of friends who I have not talked to or seen in decades–a few who live in Australia. But I know that if we happen to see each other, we would hug and pick up our friendship right where we left off. One of my friends, I haven’t seen or spoken to in 30 years, but I hear about what he is doing. I can just tell by what we are doing in our lives that we are still close friends. Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • Oh yes, I agree that people don’t have to see each other all the time to still be considered friends. I worked in the entertainment media industry where there was a lot of socialising and where, I suppose, a lot of people were ultimately acquaintances rather than real friends. Having said that, quite a few former colleagues will be friends for life—some I see often, some only every few years, some not at all because they are in a different state or country. But they are still friends.

  2. A quick fly by hug from your imaginery aussie friend (rushing to get mother’s dinner)…absolutely gorgeous photo of your son and friends! If we’re the second photo I’d kind of like to be the yellow figure if that’s ok
    I like to think I could pull off the smirk , and the black glasses are cute – though I expect that’s meant to be a menacing mask..hmmm

    • It’s weird to think about, but I don’t think I really call too many people “friends.” I don’t think it means much though, because if I treat them like a friend but never call them a friend it shouldn’t make too much of a difference, right? Anyway…
      I think I’ve let a lot of my friends choose me, not the other way around (not saying I never chose any, of course). If anyone ever grants me with the title of “friend,” I’m nothing but thankful. Once I label someone my “friend,” I usually always continue to consider them my friend… even if I don’t really talk to them much anymore or hardly ever see them. Once I have a connection with you and decide to label you my “friend,” you’re in. I don’t understand how people can call themselves friends or tell each other that they love one another and then fast forward a couple of years, or even decades, and no longer consider them a friend. Yeah, people change, and sometimes for the worse rather than for the better… but I hold “friends” in my heart. I hold the image of who they once were even if they have changed into the complete opposite… I hold on to the fact that somewhere inside of him/her is/was something beautiful enough that it drew me to call them a “friend.” For former “friends” who now consider me an enemy or who no longer consider me a friend, I pray. Once you’re in my heart, you’re in there for good. If things get ugly and you become a person I no longer can really respect, I pray for you rather than hate you. For me, friends are forever. Or maybe this is just a reflection of how I’m feeling in this moment… but I’d like to think that it’s more than that.

      As for online friends, I have nothing against calling online friends “friends.” It’s a beautiful thing… but I think that our goal should be to try and apply that to “real” life friends. It’s scary (and yet understandable) than we can have such great, intimate, and strong relationships with someone we’ve never met… but how great would it be if we could mirror that in the “real” world? I think we should take those friendships and networks that we develop online and use that positive energy/love/peace that it creates within us as springboard to develop closer, and more beautiful, relationships in “real” life.

      Congrats to Jett on having so many friends =) and on being able to forgive and see the positive in things =)

      • Kozo says:

        Crystal,
        How I have missed you. You are truly my friend. I love what you said about people being your friend forever, and if they change for the worse, you pray for them. What is we started praying for our enemies rather than hating them. I do a metta meditation chant that has the lines, “may my enemies be happy and well, may no harm or difficulties come to them, may they live in peace and harmony.” I guess you could call this a prayer for my enemies.
        I really love what you said about something beautiful inside your friend that drew you to them. I’m trying to see everyone with beauty/godliness inside of them. That is how I choose to see the world. Like my friend Bob Marley said, “Is there a place for the hopeless sinner who has hurt all mankind just to save his soul? Believe it. Onelove.”
        In regards to taking what we do with online friends into the real world, you are so on target. I have never thought about this before. I give up on my real world friends pretty easily. I ask them to read my blog, and if they don’t, I just write them off as superficial friends who don’t want to put the time to know the real me. BUT I don’t put in the time to know them! Your words are so powerful. I’m so happy you are back in the blogosphere.
        {{{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    • Kozo says:

      Love fly by hugs, Annie. Yes, you can be the yellow guy. We can call you The Bold Bodhisattva. 🙂 {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  3. jmgoyder says:

    I’ve been thinking about this lately too and I like your comparison grid. I feel much closer to many of my blog friends than to many of the friends I see regularly. A friend is a friend.

    • Kozo says:

      Julie,
      I have only known you a short time, but something draws me towards you. I feel like you have a message for me everyday, even if that message is as simple as enjoy the wonder of a baby peacock. 🙂 I’m glad we are friends, and as a friend, I wish you, Ants, and Ming, Peace and harmony. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  4. Alia and I have very similar experiences: the people we meet here in this small town at present are very fleeting connections and the connections we have through blogging are much deeper. We also have several very good friends that we have regular conference calls with, what are called “virtual circles” and we speak with each other about these friends often – they are an important part of our lives. I am noticing that our connections are heart-to-heart and that is completely independent of the physical location. Maybe this is the beginning of non-local connectivity that is an expression of the new paradigm? I believe it is. Much Love, Dear Brother Kozo! ☼ ♥ tomas

    • Kozo says:

      Tomas, while I was reading your comment, I was thinking that this is the new paradigm you and Alia have been talking about. Then you wrote the line “Maybe this is the beginning of non-local connectivity that is an expression of the new paradigm.” I have a feeling that we will look back on this as the beginning of a new era in connectivity, love, and understanding. I don’t care if we have never met, Tomas, I will always remember you and consider you my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • A gifted psychic, Annie Besant, wrote in 1920 or so how she could see a thought-form float across the room, and she described the shape and color of it. Then she saw it be drawn in to a person’s energy field (aura) and then the person started speaking that thought form. That throws a different light on our sense of individuality (my thought) and on ‘who’ is thinking. Sometimes I see us all like workstations of the cosmic server and we each have our program to carry out. So we can enjoy it and give it the least resistance possible so we can do our job most efficiently.
        To say that we have never met is the way we speak, and it implies that you are limited to your physical presence and I as well. We HAVE met and are meeting right now, often much more than the ‘physical’ meetings during our walking-around-in-the-world activities, as you so clearly pointed out. Friends is a deep word with many layers, and I, too, see our meeting in the Noosphere like this as an expression of our friendship, which will continue to deepen onto further layers. Espavo! ♥ Tomas

  5. I tend to see each and everyone of us as a diamond of sorts, multi-faceted and shining in different directions at the same time. So each and every one of the connection/friends we have whether in real life or in the blogosphere fits in each and every one of our facets.
    Given the intimate nature of blogging, it is only natural that the ties we create with one another in the blogging world encompass a different set of emotions/sharing than what we would have in our everyday world.
    I agree with you Kozo when you say…why limit ourselves to only one column? the more connections we make the better we get to know ourselves and the bigger our collective hearts get…A win/win/win situation.

    Thank you for your friendship 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      I love that analogy about the diamond, Anyes. Have you heard about the Diamond Sermon by the Buddha? There is a purity in all of us that is similar to the purity of a diamond. I agree that we have many facets and more connections we make the brighter we shine.
      So grateful to be enjoying the light with you, my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  6. Fabulous writing!! Together in blogosphere we are a special kind. I find more compassion here than anywhere. Thank you for being my BBF!!

    • Kozo says:

      You hit the nail on the head, IG4AW. There is so much compassion here. If we can extend the blogosphere to encompass the internet, imagine the changes we could make. I am so grateful to be your BBF. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  7. I love the way the internet and social networking can help us reconnect with old friends. I had a dear friend through school, a soul mate. Then in our 20s, we both moved addresses, I moved countries, we changed our names and in the early 1990s, lost contact. We tried to find each other, but without good internet networks, we couldn’t. Then in 2004, we found each other through an online school friends website.

    Now Facebook does the same thing, and I have found a number of old friends through it. Plus LinkedIn and Twitter.

    Anyway, my old friend from school and I are as close as we ever were again: we may live in different countries, but we “talk” everyday through social media and support each other’s writing and other projects that way. It’s brilliant. She came travelled to my wedding in 2006 and I have travelled back to see her perform on stage several times (she’s an actor).

    • Kozo says:

      That is exactly what I am talking about in my comment to you above, Caron. Some of our friends are destined to be our friends. I don’t know why or how, but we are meant to be close. If you believe that we are all one, like I do, then everyone is “meant to be” your friend. Why limit it? Love the story about your friend from school. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  8. utesmile says:

    Wonderful post, and I agree with your friendship list, Cyberfriends often know more about you as you open up more on here. I also have made many friends in the cyberworld and I am very happy to call them my friends. It is different but wonderful. Thank you for an interesting post.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Ute. I agree with your statement that it is different, but wonderful. I was just thinking that there is no reason to be lonely anymore if you have access to the internet. Just get online and blog about loneliness. So many people will come to share some time with you. We are so blessed to have this opportunity to connect with so many people from around the world. Thanks for reading and commenting. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  9. This is where children are the leaders – teaching us how to stay open to the possibilities, open to others, to leave out silly rules and divisions and to call people “friend” whenever they cross paths. Lovely post.

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Michelle. As you can testify, parenting is one of the greatest teachers in life. I just need to remember the lessons and put them into practice. I am so glad we crossed paths and became friends. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  10. fgassette says:

    I have enjoyed reading your post and I also agree with you. I have met many people from all over the world since I started blogging last year. They have educated, enriched and encouraged me in so many ways. I truly call them friends. I may never meet them in merson but I am blessed from having known them.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    • Kozo says:

      Francine,
      Your comment got me thinking about the term “in person.” We might not have been in the same geographical location, but I can’t help believe that we have met in person. The person I am has opened my heart and embraced the person you are many times. What comes to mind is your post on the returning veterans memorial. My father is MIA in Vietnam, and your post helped me share some time with him that I would not have been able to do if you weren’t my friend. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  11. Subhan Zein says:

    I’m not saying that one type of friend is better than another, but why restrict friendships to the first column?
    ===========
    That’s a very powerful statement! I couldn’t agree more. I am blessed with friends like you, Kozo, you are one of the most amazing people I met virtually and would love to meet in person 🙂

    Remember about our future meeting? You said you’d bring Spam Musubi and I’ll bring Nasi Goreng and Telor Pedas, then we take our fiendship to a higher level 🙂

    Our earthly friends are those who make into our past, but our heavenly friends are those who stick around and make into our future. Hope you’d be happy to be one of my heavenly friends 🙂

    • Kozo says:

      Oh, Subhan, I can taste the Nasi Goreng and Mi Goreng as we speak. Your last line put a chill in my spine. I love the idea of heavenly friends. I can’t help but think that the friendship between you, me, Maddy, Sofia, Tomas, Rohan, etc. is heaven on earth. You guys are truly my heavenly friends. Still sending you healing energy. {{{Hugs}}} and warmth, Kozo

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Lovely sentiment Kozo and Subhan 🙂 Likewise!

        Many hugs, here’s to heavenly friends 🙂

        Rohan.

  12. Subhan Zein says:

    #PS: I was typing with my index fingers, thanks to you, LOL 😀

  13. rarasaur says:

    I think this might be my favorite of your posts, Kozo… and it’s not just because my geek side loves charts, and my psych degree loves references to positive sentiment override. 🙂 I love children’s definitions of friendship because it always strikes me as true. When someone adds to your world, they are your friends– whether or not they’re famous, or co-workers, or in the same age group, or online, or different types of superheroes. The world needs to catch up with the times, and broaden the definition of friendship! *hugs* Great post!

    • Kozo says:

      Rara,
      Why is it that you can say everything that I am trying to convey in one concise line: “When someone adds to your world, they are your friends– whether or not they’re famous, or co-workers, or in the same age group, or online, or different types of superheroes.” Guess that is why you got the full-ride Ivy League scholarship. 🙂
      I am honored that this post is your favorite. Actually, I am honored that you are my friend. I swear one day people are going to say, “Just because you read her blog doesn’t mean that you were friends with President Rarasaur.” 🙂
      Psych Degree? Girl, we gotta talk. I am working on a non-fiction project that needs your educated and enlightened opinion. As soon as my kids’ school gets out for summer we are going to Raraland…I mean, Disneyland with a stop over in Tustin.
      Seriously, Rara. I just want you to know that even though we have never met, are decades apart in age, and have only known each other about 5 months, I consider you one of my best friends. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • rarasaur says:

        Haha! Well, despite the fact that I’ll never be president, I’m also happy to call you one of my best friends, Kozo. And… hurrah! Disneyland is spittin’ distance to where I live so just let me know when you’re around! 😀

  14. merbear74 says:

    Your awesome Kozo!! {hugs}

  15. MissFourEyes says:

    Great post! I love the chart! Sometimes I think that blog friends are closer than real life friends. But I couldn’t pick one over the other. I need them both, they’re both amazing in their own ways. I’m glad to have both.

    • Kozo says:

      I totally agree, MissFourEyes. I am so glad to have both. I don’t think my sons would like it if the only friends I had were online. haha.
      I know I’m preaching to the choir, but for some reason the real world doesn’t seem to recognize how powerful and life-changing blog friendships can be.
      Thanks for being my friend. {{{Hugs}}} kozo

  16. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Great post Kozo! We can learn a lot from the youngsters, we become so hardened and closed off. It’s important to have boundaries and take care of ourselves, but if we could open up and expand our definition of friend it would certainly lead to a more peaceful existence 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, and that top photo is crazy cute haha!

    All the best, hugs friend 😉

    Rohan.

    • Kozo says:

      Rohan,
      Make sure you read what I wrote to Subhan above. I feel blessed that I have been able to open my heart and share love with you and the rest of our twitter/wordpress friends. I am definitely looking forward to the real life party to “legitimize” our friendship. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  17. Melanie says:

    My WordPress friends have done more to lift me from the depths of despair than my in-person friends. I am truly indebted to the friendships I have here. I count you among them. I can feel your hugs through the interwaves, and they warm me to my core. {hugs} and {hugs} some more

    • Kozo says:

      Got a cliche for you, Melanie–preaching to the choir. Yes, I can feel your hugs too. I started blogging because I had no where else to go. Little did I know that I would find everything I needed in the blogosphere. (Oops another cliche, like stealing candy from a baby) [People who haven’t read This is My Corn are going to think I’m crazy.Holy cow! 217 likes/176 comments. Just remember, Melanie, I knew you before you were famous. haha]
      Here are some congratulatory {{{hugs}}} and some BBF {{{Hugs}}}. Love, kozo

      • Melanie says:

        So many hugs! Happiness is a Kozo {hug}.
        You were the first to be let in on my “secret” second blog, and it was your Bloggers For Peace that opened that door. I’m am happy to have accepted your challenge. I find myself thinking of everyday peace almost everyday. When I leave that parking space, or open that door, or smile and say good-morning to the quiet security guard whom I never see speaking to anyone because no one speaks to him. Thank you for opening me up to this awareness.
        (The comments on my post aren’t really that many; half of them are my replies. But the likes really are, and I am honored to have that level of appreciation.)

      • Kozo says:

        Love those random acts of kindness, Melanie. I guess the “secret” blog is no longer a secret since you quadrupled your followers. 🙂
        It goes without saying, but I LOVE thisismycorn.com.

      • Melanie says:

        Thank you! I’m blown away at the response. I have a lot of new followers to catch up with. I love finding new people because new people found me.

  18. KM Huber says:

    Wonderful post, Kozo, so beautifully expressed. As a forever optimist, I see our global connection to one another as way to change the consciousness of the world for I believe critical mass consciousness is possible. Perhaps a consequence of our growing global connection with one another is that we will emulate the wise words and actions of your son with every person we meet for whether globally or locally, we are all connected. What a joy and light you are, my dear Kozo.
    Karen

    • Kozo says:

      I couldn’t agree more, Karen. We are all connected, and we can reach critical mass consciousness through these internet global connections. Oh, if we could only listen when our children teach US. Thank you so much for being a BBF. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  19. Sarah says:

    Hugs to you, Kozo, my BBF. Another beautiful, heartfelt post. The photo is crazy adorable! xoxo

    • Kozo says:

      Thanks, Sarah, my dear friend. I’m not sure how I can ever feel down with photos like this to remind me of how blessed my life is. Thank you for being my BBF. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  20. twindaddy says:

    “people just walk away as if I’m talking about an imaginary Stormtrooper.”

    Should I take offense to that? 😉

  21. goldfish says:

    I don’t know what you look like, what your laugh sounds like or what you like to eat, still, I consider you a friend, Kozo, even though we’ve never met in person.

  22. Eileen says:

    Reblogged this on Laughter: Carbonated Grace and commented:
    A perfect description of the blessings of blogging friendships. Perhaps distance makes it easier to be real, to risk, to affirm. Whatever the reason is, the bloggers I follow relate to others more freely and on a much deeper level. I have had several friendships like this in “real” life, but at my age, many have disappeared into the clouds of senility or passed on to a better place. Though I’ve come to treasure solitude, relating on a deeper level with blogging friends means, even if I become housebound or bedridden, I never have to be lonely. What a blessing for us old guys.

    • Kozo says:

      Eileen, your words shook my soul. I am so blessed to be friends with you. I don’t think we would have ever met in the real world, but I cherish the moments we get to spend together. And yes, you will never be lonely.
      “You just comment on my blog
      And you know wherever I am
      I’ll come running to see you again
      Winter, spring, summer or fall
      All you have to do is blog
      And I’ll be there
      You’ve got a friend.”
      {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  23. Children are so much wiser than we thick adults sometimes. They can grasp, the simple and the profound at the same time. They don’t get muddled up in all this junk that adults do.

    I think this virtual world of ours is expanding what one would deem “friends”. The world has gotten so much smaller for me since I started blogging. It has been such a rewarding experience to get to know wonderful people from all over the world. (such as you, dear Kozo)

    I think writing posts and reading others blogs enables us to see an intimate side of a person, that people in the “real” world don’t get to see so often.

    It is easier to find like minded people here in what I call the Blogoverse. I write about subjects and say things I’d never say otherwise. I think I am more of my true self. I feel I am free to be so much more of me.

    It is truly a wonderous community we all are creating and I am so glad and proud to be a part of it!
    I am also so very glad to call you my friend Kozo.

    • Kozo says:

      We do have something special, don’t we, Nancy. I have only been a member of the blogoverse for 5 months. I can’t imagine how our “wonderous community” will grow in the future. The funny thing about blogging is that the more I reveal about my insecurities and faults, the more people rush to support me. It is almost the opposite of the real world, where we try to hide our insecurities to avoid being attacked.
      Thank you for being such an intimate BBF, Strawberryindigo {{{HUgs}}} Kozo

  24. So true Kozo! I do not have any connections between “real” life and people I have met blogging. There are people I have met through writing that have helped me tremendously an I consider them my friends. I was trying to explain to one awhile ago. It gets to the point where there is a different voice in my head for each blogger and when I read their words it is in that voice. It changes from time to time as more information is learned. (for two weeks I wasn’t sure if Rarasaur was a guy or a girl. 🙂 so that voice changed quite a bit. But the point is they are friends that I can’t wait to read and hear thoughts from. Just like you. I have been really blogging since about Christmas time, and it has changed my world and allowed me to connect with like minded people. I have said it before and I say it again, you are the man Kozo and I am proud to call you a friend.

    • Kozo says:

      Something feels like destiny to me, Jonathan. We are so far apart, yet so similar. We look different, but we have similar worldviews and concerns. We both started blogging about the same time. I am so excited to see what the future holds for us and our friendship. Thank you for being my Bromance Blogging Friend. haha. {{{Hugs}}} kozo

  25. diannegray says:

    I love the way our children teach us every day! As we grow older we seem to forget that anyone can be our friend if we just open our hearts to them. I see a friend as anyone who makes me smile or grow. You don’t even need to have met the person (Bob Marley, Martin Luther King, Thich Nhat Hahn, the Dalai Lama, and Jesus) for them to bring a smile to your face, warmth to your heart and light to your spirit.

    This is a beautiful post, my friend 😀 {{{hugs}}}

    • Kozo says:

      You are definitely my friend then, Dianne, because you make me smile and grow every time I interact with you. Your definition fits you well because you make everyone who reads your books smile, open their hearts, and shine in the light of your spirit. {{{Big Hugs}}} my dear friend. Love Kozo

  26. Athena Brady says:

    I have many online friends who I am very close to and we talk about everything. To me they are not “Virtual” but real friends but I know what you mean and the looks or comments we encounter from others. the important thing to remember is their definitions are not mine. I am meeting one of my online BBFs quite soon when she comes over from America. I feel it is not important how others view us but how we view ourselves, are we following our purpose, realizing our dreams, connecting with the heart and soul, creating peace, those are the important questions for me. I am glad to have you Kozo as a new friend my life is blessed by your presence in it. {{{Hugs}}} across the universe are coming your way. You are perfect just as you are, don’t change a thing.

    • Kozo says:

      I love this, Athena. Let’s define our friendships for ourselves. What does it matter if people doubt the depth of our online friendships. We know in our hearts how much these friends have changed our lives. I look forward to meeting online friends like you in the future as well. Thank you so much for your wise words and encouragement. Love, Kozo

  27. Amy says:

    Ah, the wisdom of children. Beautiful! I love this: “Couldn’t our friendships with the least likely of friends save our world?” Absolutely and indeed. Thank you.

  28. 1EarthUnited says:

    Reblogged this on 1EarthUnited and commented:
    Kozo, this has got to be one of the most inspiring, unifying post for peace I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing. If blogging is not your profession, it should be! It’s wonderful to experience real inner peace from practical everyday events as you have shown us. You certainly lead a blessed life, especially when seen through the eyes of your little Buddhas. I’m humbled and deeply grateful we are BBFs; along with the rest of the blogosphere, we honestly appreciate you as the beautiful “prince of peace” that you are. ♥
    P.S. You had me at the floaters and flotsam… LMAO! 😀

    • Kozo says:

      Maddy,
      I feel so blessed to have you as my BBF. You are so beautiful inside and out. I hope my sons are as enlightened, open-minded, compassionate, and wise as you when they get older. I look forward to the day when my munchkin ninjas can give their Auntie Maddy a big {{{Hug}}}. Love, Kozo
      P.S. Glad you got a laugh at the floaters and flotsam. Sorry to say the actual event wasn’t so funny. 🙂

  29. Kozo, it sounds so cheesy but you make my heart smile. I have recently realized this about a lot of people here in BlogLand myself. We share such a deep bond with one another that our “real life ‘friends'” pale in comparison.

    You must’ve read my mind because I’m working on a looong post called “Friends vs. Followers” on a very similar note to this. Yay for synchronicity again!

    P.S. I could not stop laughing at “Daddy, wipe my butt-butt!” Reminded me of my own little rascal. It seems our sons teach us both. 😉

  30. PaulaB says:

    I was just mentioning the other day to a friend I met when Tim was in London – at Thameswood when he was getting radiation. Her husband died the same week as Tim. I was telling her about just what this post so beautifully expresses…the value of these online friends. She’s going to grief counseling, which for me right now is impossible. I told her how healing it has been to have the sort of support this blog has given me. {{{hugs}}} and thank you

    • Kozo says:

      Paula,
      I am so thankful to have you as one of my BBFs. Like I said on your blog earlier, it has been a pleasure watching you become the beautiful butterfly your avatar depicts. Like you, I came to blogging because of loss, and I am so grateful to have been lead down this path. I don’t think I will ever be the same person again.
      I look forward to meeting you one day, maybe at a concert of your choice, since your musical tastes are always right on target. {{{hugs}}} Kozo

      • PaulaB says:

        It is so true. There are many lessons to be learned from loss.

        I started this blog with the purpose solely of getting my words somewhere other than just in my head and in my journal. Here I am now 4 months later with a new group of BBFs, and I too have been changed.

        I haven’t been to a concert in ages, haven’t been to see any live music in ages. I would LOVE to plan something like that. {{{hugs}}}

  31. Dieu says:

    I totally identify with this post! I think as adults, we find it so much more difficult to make new friends, because of the filters and assumptions that we have developed over time. As kids all you have to do is walk over to someone and say ‘hi!’ and it’s as simple as that. It is amazing, though, how on a bad day, my blogger friends can lift my spirits. If that doesn’t define a friend, then I don’t know what does. {{{Hugs}}}

    • Kozo says:

      Dieu,
      I remember the day we became friends. I saw your insightful comment on Patrick Latter’s photo blog and I decided to walk up to you and say, “hi.” I am so thankful for that chance encounter. I don’t know if you remember, but I once published a post that was titled “Shout out to my 5 followers,” and you were on that shortlist. Thank you for being one of my oldest and dearest BBFs. Love, Kozo

      • Dieu says:

        I do remember that shout out. It was the first time any blogger had done that, and I remember thinking, this is so cool that someone likes my writing enough to share it! Thank you for sharing your generous spirit. Many {{{Hugs}}}, Dieu.

  32. Sunshine says:

    hey, Kozo, i think friends defined is God revealed…sometimes He comes to us as an intimate soulmate like spouses/partners, other times as pain in the rear friends, sometimes via online connections, and even as loving pets. i imagine the world a big playground with so much potential for friendship…& sometimes we just need to stop and observe the little ones to see how God teaches us, through their innocence, just how to handle friendships. 🙂
    love your golden heart & love the beautiful way you share goodness. xoxo

    • Kozo says:

      LOL, Sunshine, about the pain in the rear friends. I totally agree that our friendships are God revealed. I was telling Subhan how I feel I’m in heaven when I get a comment or tweet from you guys. God does indeed work in mysterious ways, and now we can find God on the internet. How blessed are we? Love you, Sunshine. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

      • Sunshine says:

        He is amazing & truly it is hard to imagine the depth of all our blessings. I imagine our small minds would explode if given the vision.

        Happy 🙂 Day! ♥

  33. grandmalin says:

    One of the great things about having blog friends is that you can like something they said in the morning and then come back hours later when you have more time to like it some more. 🙂 I love this post and everything you said, and everything everyone else said, even though it has kept me up half the night getting through it all. lol {{{hugs}}} my friend.

    • Kozo says:

      You make me smile every time I read anything you write, Grandmalin. I can’t believe you stayed up all night reading comments. 🙂 You give so much in the blogosphere just by reading what we write. Thank you for being such a funny and loyal BBF. Love you, {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  34. theINFP says:

    I’m surprised that we became bloggers around the same time. I thought that your perception and wisdom belied years of blogging. I know lots of people face to face, however, day to day work and home leaves little time for managing the depth of these relationships. I am committed to the relationships that are developing by blogging. It fits into the spare moments I have. I feel a sense of belonging. I often get the impression that face to face friends don’t really want to hear what I have to say, whereas here, there is a choice to engage or not. Blogging provides an opportunity for me to connect with the tiny proportion of the billions of people on earth who want to listen to me, that is special. {{{SUPER BEAR HUGS}}} your friend Robert

    • Kozo says:

      Great point, Robert. Our blogger friends are unique in that they are always there when we need them because they do “fit into the spare moments” that we have. I love waking up and seeing what my BBFs have posted or commented on. Sometimes I read a post of a BBF that was posted before I ever met them. That just doesn’t happen in real life friendships, unless you are a stalker. haha.
      I feel blessed that in the short time I have been blogging that I have met so many incredible people like you, Robert. Thanks for the love and support. {{{Hugs back}}} Kozo

  35. theINFP says:

    Reblogged this on the INFP and commented:
    There is a whole other non face to face world out there to be explored

  36. Thanks to you and your son for this lesson on friendship. I tend to think of everyone as a sister, brother, friend until something happens that shows me to be careful or back away for a while – a bit like a kid. Everyone defines it differently, but for me, friend is someone I communicate with who moves me – where we have a connection.

    Funny friend story: After a particularly long dark winter I went to the Brooklyn public library as a first outing after weeks inside alone. I came back and reported to my doctor that I’d made new friends. He was overjoyed, until he asked who they were. I said Yeats and Auden. He was so disappointed and reminded me that they were dead. Not to me…thanks for your great post here.

    • Kozo says:

      I love Yeats, JJ. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold.” This is where your doctor is wrong. Yeats and Auden are your friends since they moved you and you had a connection with them. Next time you have a long dark winter, just come on by for a visit. I’ll be glad to give you a nice warm {{{Hug}}} You got a friend.

  37. Thanks to Zemanta you linked to my post and I ‘found’ you. I love your thoughts on this. I’m sick and fed up of people sneering at my online friends. Like you, I’ve made some great online relationships – some of which have turned out fantastic offline too. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Kozo says:

      Corinne,
      Isn’t the blogsphere wonderful. Just in composing this post, I stumble upon your blog and you are discussing the same ideas. We are like-minded in so many ways–even the title of our blogs is similar. I look forward to building a blogging friendship with you. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo
      P.S. I love (P)awesome wisdom. Pablo is a guru.

  38. I loved your post Kozo. I define my friends according to the spiritual connection I feel with them. Some of my friends here on blogs I have never met physically, but we talk, share and care in so many ways…I sometimes feel as though I have known them for so much longer than I actually do.
    *hugs*

  39. The Hook says:

    I consider my work colleagues and my blogging allies like you friends. Your son has the right idea.

    • Kozo says:

      That is good to know, Hook, because I was telling some friends how one of my friends is a bellman, and they grilled me on it. I told them that you were my friend from blogging and they said that we were not friends. Glad to know that you see things my way, my friend.
      {{{hugs]}} Kozo

  40. Great post. I find when I’m going through things my cyber friends, who are sometimes countries away, are there for me more than my friends who are minutes away. I can go weeks without seeing or speaking to my “real life” friends, but I get angst-y when i go a few days without checking in with my cyber friends. I respond to a blog comment faster than a text message.

    • Kozo says:

      Haha, Tasha, I love how you respond to blog comments faster than text messages–unless of course they are from your fiance. 🙂 I agree. I don’t think I could live without either my blog friends or my real friends. They are both integral parts of my life. Thank you for being an integral part of my life. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  41. wisdompartner says:

    Thanks for this great post Kozo. I think technology like Facebook has redefined what “friends” means especially for the younger generation. To tell me that someone has 500 friends on Facebook does not impress me. I recently tweeted (tongue in cheek) “If I’m not on Facebook, do I exist?” Still waiting for the answer…

    • 1EarthUnited says:

      lol wisdom, your tweet may be construed as the quintessential zen question, a variation of, “who am I” and “why do I exist”? If you are aware that Facebook is an illusion, then you know the real; while realizing all along the “real” and “false” are not separate entities but stem from the same source within. ♥
      Ain’t life grand? 😀

    • Kozo says:

      I agree, Alicia. FB is a totally different beast. Then again, who is to say that the energy we send out does not affect the lives of all our FB friends?
      P.S. You definitely exist, and I am grateful for your friendship. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

  42. […] this post? Go check out my pal Kozo’s post Friends and Enemies: The Maleable Keys to Peace as we seem to have been on the same page this week. (This is, I believe the 3rd time myself and […]

  43. 1EarthUnited says:

    lol wisdom, your tweet may be construed as the quintessential zen question, a variation of, “who am I” and “why do I exist”? If you are aware that Facebook is an illusion, then you know the real; while realizing all along the “real” and “false” are not separate entities but stem from the same source within. ♥
    Ain’t life grand? 😀

  44. I’m letting the definition of friends evolve. In the past I had a more concrete idea of friendship based on how long I knew someone or our mutual interests or trust. It’s quite different now as I try not to see an odd paring as “odd” but as appropriate for where I am in my life. Like I said in another comment, people come and go. If I hold on to all the times someone left my life, I would miss the gifts that come with their return. But then again, some people are meant to leave and stay gone 🙂 I’m just letting things fall into place as they inevitably will. If someone wants to be my friend cool, if not, peace-out with love homie! 😉

    • Kozo says:

      I love your comment, GM. I think if we let people go with love then they are still our friends. We will welcome them with open arms if they come back. It is like my son said about people who are mean to him. He does not close his heart off for a future friendship. Love you, my BBF. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  45. Geo Sans says:

    I loved your comments

    about your son

    ~

    children have such

    a keen inner wisdom

    in their innocence

    ~

    any one that stops, smiles

    and is friendly

    I consider a friend

    ~

    sometimes

    people are too busy

    absorbed

    to care

    ~

    but that doesn’t mean

    they might not

    become a true friend later

    • Kozo says:

      Geo Sans, I am so grateful for you poetic comments. I feel like they are poems written for me which technically they are. The way you give in this manner is so special and thoughtful. Thank you. Anyone who writes a poem for you is a true friend.
      I love your use of “absorbed.” One could argue that mean people are just too self-absorbed. Some people are too absorbed in religious or nationalistic differences which is why we often have war. When they become less absorbed, then they might become a true friend later. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  46. Loved the great perspective you have brought here about “real” and “blogging” friends. How do each of these friend category serve you? Who would you really be without either of them?

    Shakti

    • Kozo says:

      Great questions, Shakti. I’m not sure if they were rhetorical, but I will take a stab. My blogging friends are some of my most intimate friends. They listen deeply to me, understand my struggle, and offer wise words and {{{hugs}}}. I try to do the same for them.
      My real life friends are becoming more of a practice for me. They are where I go to practice the lessons of empathy, compassion, and lovingkindness I learn from blogging. I am starting to realize that many of my real life friends are not as like-minded as my blogging friends. I guess that makes sense. Many of my real life friends are friends due to blood or geography, while my blogging friends became friends through ideas.
      Without either of these friends I would not be the person I am today or becoming tomorrow. I am so pleased with how much I have grown in the last few months. I feel like the combination of blogging friends and real life friends has pushed me to a higher consciousness.
      Guess you got more than you bargained for, sorry about that. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

  47. Stephanie Jill Rudd says:

    A Hug from a new friend in the UK, who just found you through a reblog! Beautiful post and one to celebrate. Cheers. x

  48. […] Friends and Enemies: The Malleable Keys to Peace at everyday gurus […]

  49. Professions for PEACE says:

    What a wonderful post Kozo! Another one 🙂 I love it all, as I do all your awesome posts, and especially adore your new definition of ‘friends’ to include the very highest and best.
    With love and hugs, Gina

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