William Liao

February 5, 2022

treat others as you would an old friend

Today’s Daily Spark is a thought experiment. 

Begin by spending a few moments thinking about your oldest and most cherished friendships. 

Consider the kindness and warmness that is brought to these friendships and the exceptional sense of happiness and joy that is shared. 

Now try to think of a specific person in your life that you may not know as well — that you have a more neutral relationship with. This could be someone you frequently encounter at the grocery store or a new coworker you’re just becoming acquainted with. 

Finally, try holding this person in your mind while invoking the thoughts and feelings that arose when thinking about your most cherished friendships. 

This might seem strange and difficult at first, but eventually — and indeed this is the goal of the exercise — you will realize that you actually want this person to experience the same kindness, warmness, and joy that you just felt a moment ago. 

As you go about the next several days, try withholding any tendencies towards judgment and simply resolve to be a source of joy for the people encounter —treat them as you would an old friend. 

This is within your power to do. 

And in so doing, you can lift others up, which — uncoincidentally — will lift you up too.