Friendship is based on a relationship between two or more people. Friendliness, on the other hand, is not based on a relationship. Infact, it has nothing to do with anyone else. Rather, friendliness is a wholesome inner quality. You can be friendly with your own self when no one is around. Friendship needs someone to be around you if it has to exist.
Friendliness is like a brightly shining star. No one may be there, looking up at the sky to watch this star and yet it exists. And yet it lights up and rejoices! Nobody may ever come to know about it but it is still there. It does not depend on perception to exist.
Friendship can exist between a human and another human and between a human and certain animals like dogs, cats, horses and some more, at maximum. But friendliness can breathe in the presence of a rock, a mountain, a tree, a waterfall or a far away star. Friendship is pointed at a particular being whereas friendliness is unbound because it isn’t dependent on another person. It is absolutely about how you feel on the inside. It’s a quality to carry and radiate towards all and everything around.
Once Gautama Buddha was asked if an enlightened human has any friends and he responded with a no. The questioner was shocked because he, along with many others, assumed that an enlightened human would befriend everyone.
But Buddha was right. He cannot have friends because he cannot have enemies. Both come together as a package. Buddha can have friendliness but not friendship.
Friendliness is unaddressed or unfocused love. It is not between two or more humans but between a human and the whole of existence. It is about being real and authentic and once you are both those things, friendliness will radiate from your existence to whoever or whatever comes in contact with you.
The enlightened human has no friends or enemies, just pure love willing to poured into anyone’s heart who is there.
So be friendly towards all that exists. And in that friendliness, you will find your heart becoming bigger by the moment with all the pure love and your mind will learn all there is to learn.
In friendliness, you will find the best friend.