My parents taught me not to judge a book by it’s cover. As a child, I certainly took that life lesson to heart. When I was six years old, I made friends with everyone. Age, religion, race, social status, sexuality just didn’t matter to me. Chances are it didn’t matter to most six year olds. That’s why it shouldn’t have come of much surprise when I made friends with an eleven year old girl who lived in the same complex I did. Not only was she five years older than me, but she was deaf and mute. (That’s where the surprise came in.) It didn’t matter that we didn’t understand each other or that we were years apart. All we saw in each other was a playmate and a best friend.
Of course, there were those who probably thought that it was impossible to build a strong relationship when you couldn’t even communicate with each other. After all, she was a deaf eleven year old and I was a six year old who didn’t understand sign language. But that didn’t matter. We showed each other the world. She taught me how to do cartwheels and things she learned in gymnastics and I taught her how to play card games and things I did in Girl Scouts. We were inseparable and had a strong bond.
As we grew older we started to drift apart and then she moved away. However, our frienship hasn’t been forgotten. I often wonder how she is and look back in awe at how close we had become. Even though, I was the one in the middle of this fairytale friendship it was like one of the eight wonders of the world to me. For some reason, I couldn’t get over the fact that all we had in common was our address and the shared desire to play. I couldn’t help but ask myself, why everything can’t be that simple. And then I realized everything is that simple. Oddly enough, it took my reflecting on my life as a six year old to realize that.
There will always be obstacles, differences, and hardships. However, those obstacles and differences always seem much bigger than they are because we make it that way. Rather than focusing on the obsolete, it would be wise to focus on the greater good. There will always be a solution. And there will always be a way out of the tunnel. If not, there really isn’t a problem. So stop stressing yourself out. And stop making a problem bigger than it is. Chances are there is a simpler route and a solution but you’ve blinded yourself from it.
It would have been easy for my childhood friend and I to refuse to cross pasts because of our obvious dissimiarities. We could have chosen to predict unforseen problems with building a friendship based on something as shallow as playtime and avoided it. However, we chose to build something meaningful based on our shared common ground. It’s a premise that can and should be applied to romantic relationships, professional relationships, family life, etc.
Rather than dissect every situation until there is nothing left, we should accept every situation for what it is and make the best of it. After all, that’s how friendship is made and opportunities are seized. It’s hard to believe that it was a life lesson I understood at such a young age, but took twenty years for me to grasp. Turns out the wide-eyed and innocent children know a little more than we think… Silence the voices and the differences and just let your inner child speak.
What life lessons have you learned from your youth?
TERRIfic Quip: Everything is simple. We make it difficult.