In one of his speeches, Buddha said that whoever has fifty friends have also fifty pains. This did not mean that the affection and friendship are contraindicated for the soul, but it is a challenge for anyone to get along with people who drag a different background from ours, or have a different view of the world and other priorities. Also other limitations.

A character of our fable “The Maze of Happiness” made the following observation: even in an act as irrelevant as serving coffee, a contact that does not exceed a total of one minute, the waiter makes alchemy with the client by choosing out from three options…

The moment you can get the person to leave worse than they arrived, if you’re rude. Or they can go as they do not care, if you treat them with indifference. But you also have the opportunity to make them leave the Coffee Bar better-mooded, if you give them a little kindness.

Because every day we maintain dozens of contacts, we act as alchemists of the emotions of others with our attitude. An unfortunate comment of ours, or simply because for not listening, can sink the other’s mood, just as the words of encouragement and good humor can rescue anybody out of the well.

In his latest essay “The Chemistry of Relationships”, the communication expert Ferran-Ramon Cortés says that by relating to the other we are actually putting gold or lead in their emotional balance. There are nourishing relationships that add value to life while others overload the already difficult job of being.

We can not choose how others will behave, just avoiding toxic people, but we can decide what kind of interpersonal alchemy blows from us.

We started with Buddha and let’s finish him. There is an evening meditation practiced by Tibetans call “Buddha of Compassion”. It aims to establish a humble purpose in mind, but a highly significant one, for the following day. It goes: if my situation or my limitations prevent me from making others happy, at least that my actions are not the cause of their unhappiness.

It’s a good start for all alchemist —all of us are— that wishes the world of tomorrow to be better than yesterday’s.


Álex Rovira and Francesc Miralles

Alex Rovira