Questioner: Sir, everyone is expecting something. Parents are expecting something, friends also expect something but sometimes I prefer to be alone. What to do in that situation?
Acharya Prashant: Do you really have a friend? What kind of friend is this who does not like you to do what really gives you joy? If I am your friend and you want to be alone, what am I to do? Chase you? Get stuck to you? Or allow you to be alone? Do we really have friends? What kind of friends are these?
Somebody has said that a person is worth being with if you feel alone in his company. Only that person is worth being with. That’s the test. Do I feel crowded with this person or do I feel peaceful, alone in his company? That’s your real friend; the one who allows you to be alone. Not somebody who starts cluttering your mind. What do your friends do? Ask yourself. Are they a crowd or are they a peaceful influence?
Q: Sir, so a friend should not be entertaining?
AP: What is entertainment?
Q: To do something, so that we get entertained.
AP: What is entertainment?
AP: Why does the mind need entertainment? What kind of mind needs entertainment?
Q: A restless mind.
AP: The restless, bored mind.
What is important?
To find a solution to the problem of entertainment or go to the root problem?
‘Why am I bored at all? Why do I need entertainment? Obviously I need entertainment.’
All the shopping malls are crowded in the weekends. Everybody needs entertainment.
And why do people need entertainment?
People need entertainment because they do soul sapping jobs throughout the week. For five days I do something, I shouldn’t have done, so last two days I want to get away somewhere. they have those weekend getaways, weekend parties.
What should I do in this situation?
Entertain myself more or look closely at the boredom?
For five days of the week I am being killed, last two days I want to drink a lot. What should I do? Drink more and more or avoid being killed? If your friends help you get more and more entertainment, are they really your friends?
Q : What will happen if these close friends are removed from our life?
AP: If they are removed, chances are you will get the space to look clearly at the real problem.
Q: But we are already stressed out.
AP: You are stressed out because there is the possibility of the weekend. Why do I tolerate my Tuesdays and Wednesdays? It is because there is a Saturday and Sunday awaiting me. Remove Saturdays and Sundays and people will stop tolerating their Wednesdays and Thursdays.
So Saturday and Sunday are the reason why all the torture of Thursday and Friday is tolerated. Remove Saturday and Sunday, and things will be alright. Nobody would then engage himself in such mindless work.
-Excerpts from a Samvaad session. Edited for clarity.
Watch the session at: Friends, jobs and the need for entertainment
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