15. How Do You Act When a Friend Quits?

The stoner had a friend he used to smoke with every day, but he had not seen him in weeks. When the friend finally came over, the stoner packed a bowl in his honor, carefully crumbling and packing the trees.2014-09-09 18.52.43

He passed the pipe to his friend, and his friend said, “No thanks.”

The stoner asked, “Do you have somewhere you need to be?”

The friend said, “No.”

The stoner asked, “Do you have something you need to do?”

The friend said, “No.”

The stoner asked, “Then why do you not want a bowl?”

The friend replied, “When I first began to smoke, I felt that trees helped me become the person I wanted to be. They helped me realize that much of what I had felt was solid was actually smoke. They gave me many great friends and many great experiences. But recently, I felt rooted in place. I found myself wanting to smoke less, but smoking more. I found myself wanting to accomplish great things, but accomplishing nothing. I could not be honest, nor open, nor free, and I was not having fun. Trees, I decided, were growing between who I was and who I wanted to be. And so, I gave away my trees, and I gave away my glass, and I quit.”

And the stoner said, “You have made a good decision for you. You must always strive to be the person you dream of becoming. And you must not let others dissuade you from your path. Would you like to go for a walk?”

And the stoner put away the pipe without taking a hit, and the two of them went for a walk, for the stoner knew the 15th Rule of Thumb: Let trees have leaves.

If a friend quits, do not argue or offer, for this may tempt them away from themselves, and a friend will not do such a thing. And any group that says it is wrong to leave should be left.