Today, as in the past, I received one of those emails saying that someone wanted to be my 'friend' on the internet meeting place, Facebook. The invitation forced me to look, as I rarely do, at Facebook. A bunch of 'invitations' seemed to have stacked up. So I went through them, reading what I could of each person's profile. They all seemed pretty skimpy.
But what struck me was an 'invitation' from a couple of Buddhist-leaning people, one of them apparently a roshi. I looked up their postings and as far as I can figure out, the further up the Buddhist ladder anyone goes, the more remote they become.
How in heavens name am I supposed to become 'friends' with someone who won't tell me anything about themselves? And why the hell would they want me for a 'friend' in the first place? Is it for publicity purposes? To tack up another Buddhist scalp outside their tipis? As an addition to a mailing list for future events, books, appearances? None of this sounds very 'friendly' to me. It sounds like biz ... the kind of biz in which I am expected to applaud, but don't get paid.
I went through the invitations and declined the ones I had thought I might enjoy most ... other Buddhists. I have little or no sympathy for the remoteness some might excuse on account of the number of crazies out there: If you can't handle the crazies, get out of the kitchen ... or, in this case, Facebook. Or, if you insist on angling for accolades, don't ask me to call you my friend.