So, how to start building relationships? Vedas give a simple response. All relations are based on communication, on questions and answers, on information exchange. This means we must learn to listen to each other. The path we pursue depends on our ability to hear what others say. There are three patterns of relationship development: turning surrounding people into your friends, turning them into enemies, and the third, the hardest pattern with your friends turning into enemies. We, however, are interested in the forth path that is now lost and forgotten. This is the art of making your enemies your friends. Scriptures reveal the secret of this amazing transformation: only friends will soon surround the one who listens properly to the enemies.
Our goals are too small, indeed. We try to keep friendship with friends and love with loved ones. Weaklings typically take that path. This is the path of emotional thriftiness and insufficient efforts. Real work, though, is improving your relationship with enemies. You may fail to turn all enemies into friends. But rest assured that these endeavors will definitely help keep relationships with friends and loved ones alive. This is called rhino hunting. Someone who dares to catch a rhino, even though he may fail, will still be known as rhino hunter. In case he succeeds, his fame will spread over the three worlds. Back on topic, as we’ve found out, the science of relationships begins with the art of listening.
Those who really listen to what people are actually saying have no enemies. This is called the art of self-realization. It’s only up to me to realize how I listen to others. Using your ears is not enough. It’s nothing more than mere physical presence. “I’m just minding my own business, and this goofy man keeps talking some nonsense”. True listening is the application of intelligence we’ve mentioned above. Intelligent person, even if he/she listens to a fool, becomes even more intelligent anyway. Intelligence is the ability to categorize your thoughts in your consciousness, place them orderly on the “shelves” labeled “sensible”, “kind”, “eternal”, “silly”, and “sinful”. When we hear some nonsense but don’t accept it as a mode of thinking but put on the shelf marked as “stupid things”, it makes us even wiser. We get to know the kinds of nonsense that exist. Don’t collect them on purpose, however, there is enough of it in the world.