A friend and I were talking recently about her neighbors' kids knocking on the door daily to ask her boys to play. She added they were even great about playing with her youngest. It struck me how social relations are so much easier with kids! Their line of reasoning seems to be, "You're a kid. I'm a kid. Let's hang!" That's it. Simple as that. Sure, you have the occasional outliers and bullies (which can often be traced to the socialization they're receiving and behavior they're observing at home/elsewhere).
Somehow along the way, as we grow up, it becomes more complicated. We have less perceived commonality and willingness to overlook differences. Sure, there could be many contributing factors (e.g. as we grow older we identify and develop our specific talents and interests and socialize accordingly; we have less free time due to jobs and other obligations, so we're pickier with whom we spend our limited time, etc).
Whatever the reasons may be, you have to admit a kid can more seamlessly join a table of kids coloring than an adult can blend into a group of strangers chatting at a cafe. I mean, think about it! If a stranger walked up to you and your friends and was all, "Hey, whatcha guys talking about? Ooh I lovvvve yoga classes too!!! What's your fave, Bikram or meditative? GET OUT - that's my fave too!!!!!!!" Chances are, you'd look at them like, "Girl, you WACK."
It seems the older we get, the more our differences are heightened and emphasized, and the more our commonalities are minimized and disregarded. As kids, we weren't yet jaded by the world. We had no awareness of social constructs like status and prestige. We had open minds and hearts. We were untouched by societal ideals and concepts of what's acceptable and what's not; what's cool and what's not; what's sexy and what's not. We just woke up psyched to play. Our main focus was having as much fun as possible each and every day. Sounds like a solid approach to me!
Let's all try to be open minded with others. This doesn't mean you need to become BFFFFFs with every single person you meet. That'd be waaayyyy too many birthday presents to buy (JUST KIDDINGGGG). And if you have social anxiety, or you're an introvert - striking up a conversation with a stranger might not be your jam. Maybe just focus on your thoughts, staying as open-minded and non-judgmental as possible with others. Focus on your similarities and common interests.
Let's all just get along!
Peace and blessings, homies.