Dear Abdelrahman,

Kids have it easy! I’ve watched countless of kids, at school & on the playground (I have my own kids, I’m not just some weirdo, I promise!). They just come up to each other & say, “Hi, I’m ‘insert name here,’ wanna go play?” or “Hi, wanna be my friend?” And the other kid inevitably says, “Sure.” And off they go & play side by side, or eat sand or whatever kids do on the playground (yeah, yeah, mother of the year, whatever). Grownups carry around all this luggage that separates us — I don’t know you, I didn’t go to school with you, you’re different color/religion/political party! Sometimes I think the more we have in common, the more differences we try to find to fight about (look at Indians & Pakistanians, Arabs & Jews, Hasidic Jews & Reform Jews, Baptists & Methodists for crying out loud!) Remember that awesome Star Trek episode (I forget the name of it) where one was hunted by the other forever because “he was white on the WRONG side of the face!”

I am a firm believer in playgrounds for adults. And playgrounds for adults at work are vital! Look what it’s doing at places like Google, where productivity is through the roof! Every study recommends it! We brings sweats, change & play for 30 minutes in the middle of the day! Followed by lunch. Followed by a 20 minute nap. This will be a number one company in the world, no matter if they made airline parts or ran logistics for the military or pickled herring in Norway! Plus, 1) I would pay them to work for them!, 2) it would so easy to make friends! I would just come up to you & say, “Hi, my name is Elena, wanna be my friend?” You’d say, “Sure,” & we’d go off & slide off the slide or eat sand or something.

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Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

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