Sunday, February 18, 2007


when we were 4, everyone we knew that was approximately our age were our friends. our parents' friends had kids our age and there were always children all over our neighborhoods. our only requirement for friendship was a desire to play.

when we started school, our classes became friends. we shared teachers and recess time. that's all we needed. it was all new to all of us at the same time. its bonding to go through something for the first time together.

we entered middle school. our friends consisted of every child we knew. around 5th or 6th grade, things began to change. popularity and its pursuit was born. cliques formed. rich kids teased poor kids. athletes teased brainiacs. boys teased girls. girls teased boys. we may have fought to stay clear of the entrapments of peer groups, but friends still left our pools of relationships. the cliques multiplied through high school. our groups kept getting smaller and smaller. people picked sides. we now required similar interests and opinions.

college started like kindergarten. we left our comfortable hometowns to higher learning. again, we were brand new. though our arms were no longer open to just anybody, we had an eagerness to build relationships. it was a simple task. we all shared a passion. we were all fish out of water. as we moved from the dormitories, as we chose our majors, we saw less and less of the people we'd once seen everyday. shared experiences were becoming memories. we may still have kept a lot of friends, only about a dozen or so could stay close. then we graduated and everyone went different directions. we got jobs. some of us moved far away. some got married. some had kids. we started again on our own.

in the working world, we've all grown up. we know what to look for in other people. we have a better understanding of our needs. our criteria is much more specific... but now, we share common experiences with far fewer people. common ground is harder to find.

as we get older, it takes more and more effort to meet new, interesting people. people to share and grow with. to build social networks. people who you want to let in, and will open the door in return.

No comments: