FOUR CATEGORIES OF FRIENDS
There exist four grades of friends that must be
known: those who are like flowers, those like
scales, those like mountains, and those like the earth.
Which friends are like flowers? They wear you on
their head when in bloom, throw you away when
withered. They adhere to the rich and abandon
the poor. These are friends who are like flowers.
Which friends are like scales? Their head lowers
when in the face of weight, and raises when the
weight disappears. They respect those of weight,
and become arrogant when that weight is missing.
These are friends who are like scales.
Which friends are like mountains? They are like a
mountain of gold upon which birds and animals
gather, whose feathers reflect its glory. Their
loftiness brings glory, and their wealth offer joy to
others. These are friends who are like mountains.
Which friends are like the earth? All crops and
treasures rely on them to flourish. They nourish
and protect all beings, and thus, their great
kindness is tremendous. These are friends who
are like the earth.