The Good Friend Endures

Ajahn Sucitto

The Good Friend Endures

Thirdly, the good friend endures.

This is where it starts to get down to the nitty-gritty. ‘They endure what’s difficult to endure.’ They bear with what’s difficult to bear with for your sake. And any of you who are parents, will testify to that. Five years of sleep-deprivation! Years and years of bearing with your young ones, going through their pangs and difficulties with you bearing responsibility for them.

This seasons and strengthens the heart.

I remember before I became a monk, I thought, ‘I never want to have children; I don’t want to have to be responsible for anybody else. I just want to be able to live on my own, a free agent.’ But now I’m responsible for a community, and an extended community at that. Funny how it goes, isn’t it?

And yet at times I can experience the pettiness in the mind that says, ‘Don’t bother me with your problems; sort it out for yourself.’ Then, when I listen to that voice, I think, ‘Is that how, is that who, I want to be?’ I can feel my narrowness; and I think, ‘I don’t want to be like that.’

If some people hadn’t put themselves out for me, I wouldn’t have been here! So I may not have any solutions, but I can at least bear with other people’s stuff. Because we all need someone to bear with us when life gets difficult.

This reflection by Ajahn Sucitto is from the article, “The Good Friend.”