Friendship at the Fish Tank

The other day I was at the doctor's office just for one of those yearly check-ups that you get every year and in the corner of the office there was a fish tank. The purpose of fish tanks I think is to not only just to entertain children but also, I once read that fish tanks make the tense atmosphere of a doctor's office (or hospital) more reassuring and welcoming. I remember the days when I was younger and I would play a game where I would pick one certain fish to follow and just trace it's path around the fish tank, around rocks, fake seaweed and treasure chests and so forth. (: Haha sorry anyhow, aside from that small rant which had nothing whatsoever to do with anything (but you know me and my tendencies :P), I observed something quite interesting that day. 

A small  boy (who looked about five or six years old) came up to the tank, holding his little sister's hand (and she was oh I would say about three). They were ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the colorful fish (which just saying, still amuses me, even though I'm far past their ages, so you're never too old for fish tanks :)) when the boy points out a blue and yellow striped fish and says "Hey look, it's Dory!" The girl, who I now assume hadn't seem Finding Nemo before gives him a confused glance and says "who's that?" (just in the most adorable voice you've ever heard :)). Her older brother seems to be proud that he knows something that she doesn't and then launches into full detail about Finding Nemo, giving a long plot synopsis of the movie and then finally   getting to the part about Dory, at which he explains the fish simply as "basically Nemo's dumb friend." His sister looks confused and asks, "Well why would Nemo have a dumb friend?" And the boy replies, "I never said he wasn't a good friend."
Dory: Come on, trust me on this one.
Marlin: Trust you?
Dory: Yes, trust. It's what friends do. 

There was just something so wonderful about the boy's answer to his sister's question that made me go "yeah that's right!" (In my head of course--I wouldn't want the whole doctor's office to think I had problems beforehand, haha just kidding  :)) But honestly, hearing this conversation strike up from such young kids just made me think about what would happen if this same way of thinking was carried out in the adult world. A lot of times we judge people by their intellect and how much they've accomplished in life, how much they know--just overall how smart they seem to be. People make decisions on their friends and who surrounds them based on this, and sometimes even make the decision of whether they are going to try to become friends with someone based on first judgements like "well...is this person smart enough?" I completely agree that it's good to have people who surround you who are respectable and who are a positive influence on your life, people who will encourage you and help you grow, but I don't think that you can judge someones character and personality just on whether they are "smart enough" or not. Additionally--and yes, even I'll admit to this--I'll see a very prosperous, well to do person (or maybe even just smart person) with someone else who doesn't quite seem to be on the same level of them (an example of this is with celebrities--you know how sometimes some of the most famous and successful people have very contrasting friends) and I'll wonder how that friendship is there if they are both  very different people. The thing is, their friendship isn't born out of the ability to think at the same level or because they share the same talents (maybe they do, but not all the time) or capabilities. They are just able to talk and share a connection with each other, despite their differences, and that is the truth beauty of friendship.

I can't even count how many times I've seen two kids approach each other, a potential friendship at hand, when one of the parents comes in and deems the other child not "fit" to mix with theirs. Is this right? Absolutely not. The truth is, I guess after the "fish tank incident" (shall we call it? :)) I realized that judging people this way isn't fair...it's almost like stereotyping, you never can judge someone's character and ability to be a good friend just by what you see on the outside. Intelligence most definitely is never the way to measure how big (or small...) a heart someone has.

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