Who Do You Associate With: Good Friends Or Bad Friends?
By U Jotalankara
"Friend" is a person who shares good or bad things with his companion. There are two kinds of friends: (1) a false or bad friend and (2) a true or good friend.
Four Bad Friends and Their Characteristics
(Footnote: Singala Sutta, Maha-Vagga, Digha-Nikaya)
There are these four types who can be seen as false or bad friends pretending to be true or good friends: 1. one who takes anything, 2. one who is a great talker or only pays lip-service by making empty promises, 3. one who flatters or only says pleasant things, and 4. one who is a fellow-spendthrift or debauched companion.
1. The first bad friend, who takes anything, has four characteristics: (1) taking everything from you, (2) Wanting a lot for very little (or wanting much in return for giving only a little), (3) doing service only when he gets into trouble, and (4) seeking only his own advantage.
2. The second bad friend, who is a great talker, has also four characteristics: (1) talking of favours in the past, (2) talking of favours in the future, (3) trying to please you with empty promises or mouthing empty promises of goodwill, and (4) pleading inability owing to some disaster when something needs to be done in the present.
3. The third bad friend, who flatters, has also four characteristics: (1) agreeing to the bad actions of you, (2) also, agreeing to the good actions of you, (3) praising you in your presence, (4) disparaging you behind your back.
4. The fourth bad friend, who is a fellow-spendthrift or who debauches, also has four characteristiocs: (1) being a companion when indulging in strong drink, (2) being a companion when haunting the streets at unfitting times, (3) being a companion when frequenting shows and entertainments, and (4) being a companion when indulging in gambling.
Four Good Friends and Their Characteristics
(Footnote: Singala Sutta, Maha-Vagga, Digha-Nikaya)
There are these four types can be seen to be good or true friends. They are orderly: 1. one who is helpful, 2. one who is the same in happy and unhappy times, 3. one who points out what is good for you, and 4. one who is sympathetic.
1. The first good friend, who is helpful, has four characteristics: (1) looking for you when you are drunk, (2) looking for your possessions when you are drunk, (3) being a refuge for you are in trouble, and (4) leting you have twice what you ask for when some business is to be done.
2. The second good friend, who is the same in happy and unhappy times, has four characteristics: (1) telling you his secrets, (2) keeping your secrets, (3) not forsaking you when you are in trouble, and (4) sacrificing even his life for you.
3. The third good friend, who points out what is good for you, has four characteristics: (1) keeping you from wrongdoing, [it means "restraining you from doing the ten unwholesome courses of action: killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, telling lies, slandering, harsh speech, frivolous talk, covetousness, ill will, and wrong view"], (2) supporting you in doing good, [it means "encouraging you to do the ten courses of wholesome Kamma(= no-killing, no-stealing, no-sexual misconcduct, no-teling lies, no-slandering, no-harsh speech, no-frivolous talk or reasonable talk, no-covetousness, no-ill will, and right view), to give offerings, to take five precepts, and to practice meditation"], (3) informing you of what you do not know, and (4) pointing out the path to heaven.
4. The fourth good friend, who is sympathetic, has four characteristics: (1) not rejoicing at your misfortune, (2) rejoicing at your good fortune, (3) stopping others who speak against you, and (4) commending others who speak in praise of you.
In Dutiya-Mitta Sutta (Footnote: Sattaka-Nipata, Anguttara-Nikaya), The Buddha said, "You should cultivate and follow a friend who is endowed with seven characteristics: (1) genial, (2) venerable or respetable, (3) praise-worthy, (4) clever in speech, (5) obedient or willing to do what others bid, (6) profound in speech, and (7) not encouraging others to do evil."
About good friends in Upaddha Sutta (Footnote: Maha-Vagga Samyutta, Samyutta-Nikaya), Venerable Ananda said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, good friend-ship, good companionship, and good comradeship is half of the holy life.
The Buddha said to Venerable Ananda, "Not so, Ananda! Not so, Ananda! good friendship, good companionship, and good comradeship is the entire holy life. When a Bhikkhu or a monk has a good friend, a good companion, or a good comrade, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path."
Therefore, may you choose the good friends, associate with them, practice a suitable meditation under their instructions, and quickly attain Path (Magga), Fruition (Phala), and Nibbana.
(This article is based on the following: Singala Sutta, Pathikavagga, Digha-Nikaya, Dutiya-Mitta Sutta, Sattaka-Nipata, Anguttara-Nikaya, Upaddha Sutta, Mahavagga-Samyutta, Samyutta-Nikaya, Singala Sutta, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, Half the Holy Life, The Great Book, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, and The Same (Friends),The Book of the Seven, GRADUAL SAYINGS IV.)
Could you please give me feedback on this essay and correct the grammar? It is for a school work! Thanks :D
A Good Friend
There are many different characteristics a good friend needs to have. A good friend needs to be a trustworthy and loyal person. He needs to be fair, caring, and loving. A good friend would be someone that can make you smile or laugh; a person that will make you happy when you are sad. However he needs to be honest. He needs to be a person that is able to tell you the truth even if it isn't pleasant to hear. He needs to be able to tell you something that you might not want to hear. But a good friend needs to be someone that won't try to change the way a person is. He needs to be able to accept different personalities and characteristics. People might say that a life without a friend is no life at all.
A good friend needs to be a person whom you can trust. He needs to be someone you can tell secrets to and trust that they will keep them under any circumstances. They need to be loyal; someone who will always stick by your side in times of need and won't sell you out for anything; someone who will be there for the good times but also the bad times. They will make good times better and bad times easier to bear. It is very hard to gain trust; however, it is easy to lose it.
A friend needs to be a fair person. He also needs to be caring and loving. They need to be good listeners and positive people. Without these characteristics, you won't feel that you have a good friendship. A friend should be someone that can comfort you when you are in need of a shoulder. A good friend needs to be honest with you. He needs to tell you things about you that you should improve. Not because he is picking on you, but because he cares about you. He should try to make you a better person but not change you. As a matter of fact, he shouldn't change anyone. He should be someone who can accept different types of people as friends with good and not so good characteristics.
It is easy to determine if you are a good friend or not. If you are able to tell your friend things he should try to work on you are clearly helping him, making yourself a better person and a better friend. If you can accept the way other people are and befriend them, then you are a true friend. Also, when you have the capability to listen to his problems and be a positive influence. It might be hard to stay positive after hearing all of the issues your friend has in his life, but if you are able to do it, than you are a friend worth keeping.
A good friend is many things. He is loyal, trustworthy, comforting, loving, caring, honest, fair, positive, and happy. He should stay by your side no matter what happens and someone you would trust with your life. That is who a good friend is. If you do by any chance have a great friend, you should try to keep him for as long as you live, because good friends are hard to find.
The essay is very acceptable, but I think that you should have included examples of your own experiences in this area. Also, you should add moments or actions where real friendship is proved, you only wrote about characteristics and cualities a good friend has to have. You can also improve the way you express using rich vocabulary and not repeating the same words in the paragraphs, some words are repeated too many times, use synonyms.