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As human beings we’re naturally social creatures. What would a weekend sporting event be like without your friends to cheer each you on? Or can anyone even play Among Us! online by themselves? It’s way more fun with friends.
Buddhability is the same. It’s meant to be something we can share and enjoy with our friends. Happiness doesn’t exist insolation. Being there for our friends and checking in on a regular basis can mean the world. But it’s not always easy to be consistent, so here are a few simple ways to be a great accountability buddy.
And really quick, what are we trying to be “accountable” for? Only one another’s growth and happiness.
1. Be the person to take the initiative to check in.
Buddhism is about taking action. The moment we reach out to check in or support a friend, we are supporting ourselves too. The Buddhist philosopher Daisaku Ikeda explains that this isn’t only a Buddhist perspective but is mirrored in psychology as well:
By helping other people become happy, we too become happy. This is also a tenet of psychology. How can those suffering in the depths of hell, who have lost the will to live, get back on their feet? Merely thinking about our own problems more often than not causes us to fall even deeper into despair. But, by going to someone who is also suffering and offering them a hand, we can regain the will to live. Taking action out of concern for others enables us to heal our own lives.
February 2021 Living Buddhism, p. 24
So that text, phone call or letter you send to a friend to support them on their Buddhability journey is for you too. If you need some help with coming up with something to say, here you go!
2. Don’t be afraid to share your own struggles along the way.
Just because we’re supporting a friend doesn’t mean we need to be perfect. In fact, sharing how we are challenging our weak points is also truly inspiring. No one is perfect or without problems, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Once we open up, our friends will feel comfortable opening up. Besides supporting someone else being a nice thing to do, it’s also something that contributes to our well-being and health on every level. With this confidence, we can be ourselves and encourage our friends to keep going.
Just because we’re supporting a friend doesn’t mean we need to be perfect. In fact, sharing how we are challenging our weak points is also truly inspiring.
3. Remember, the purpose is for you and your friend to grow together.
When you’re starting to feel like giving up or it’s too much, remember the purpose. It’s like exercising, sometimes you might not want to do it but you always feel better afterward.
Imagine you’re in a boat with your friend and you’re both paddling. Sometimes your friend might get tired and you may need to row faster. And at other times you might get tired and your friend will pick up the slack. But you have the same destination as your goal so you support each other on the way. In this case, the destination is happiness and growth every day!
So most of all, have fun supporting each other and share with @buddhability to inspire others too.