Have you ever noticed how easily children make friends? I’m always impressed by their untempered ability to walk up to another child and say “I’m Jack, do you want to play?” Young children are especially facile in this regard, perhaps because they have yet to develop complexes, self-image issues, prejudices and bad habits.
I have yet to meet a four year old who questions the motives of another the minute he meets someone. Neither have I seen a five year old shun another for his looks or social standing. The relative lack of judgment is refreshing and while I do agree that a well-developed capacity for discernment is valuable, the judgmental attitudes that most adults take toward one another is tragic and unnecessary.
Were people to mature completely, there would be no judgment. Judgment, and the condemnatory attitudes that accompany it, is employed by those who have yet to grow into the noble and magnanimous shoes given to every human being at birth. A refined, empathetic, self-assured and humble bearing is the birthright of each one, yet few on earth are given the nourishment, respect, challenges and guidance required to arrive at the point where their inner greatness is fully revealed.
Mankind has created a world for itself that essentially makes it so that no one is born into a perfect set of circumstances. That said, no one should accept the fact that they have a valid excuse for not revealing the highest and finest of which they are capable in any and every situation.
Part of the reason why children are so effective at making friends is because they have not yet begun the process of cataloging the reasons why they can’t do their best, why they can’t approach life and others with a pure and uncomplicated heart and why they feel justified in retiring from life rather than embracing it. No matter where you are now, it is important to remember that you were there once.
Your childhood may have been shorter than that of others, but there is no reason why you cannot let go of that which separates you from your birthright and let go to a less cluttered expression of who you are underneath the scars, bumps and bruises you’ve accumulated over your lifetime, here and now.
Making friends can be easy again. True friendships are not formed on the basis of commiseration. They are formed on the basis of a mutual appreciation for one another and for the opportunity to “play,” that is, to engage in a shared process of imagination, enjoyment and doing. Life really can and should be that easy!