If one tries to sum up basic functions of a human being, one way is to make a list, consisting of mating, finding food, finding or making a shelter for yourself, exploring the world (on any level), entertainment, finding friends, etc. The list is longer, but on this level of description of us as humans and what we do, in its way such a list describes everyone.

The next question is how these functions are carried out, because there is a fantastic variety of the ways it is done.

On this basic level you can say we are all doing the same, making friends, making a living, etc.

One might think that this is true also on a superficial level of describing what we do – if you smoke a cigarette and your neighbour does the same, one may think you do exactly the same thing, but apart from the physical side of it, if it is the same type of cigarette, smoking may mean really different things to you two standing on the street. If it is the first time you meet it may be part of finding a friend, or a partner, or it may be a small ritual in the world of business.

For one person it may be pretty destructive, for another relaxing, on a psychological level. The physical impact we agree is not healthy, but the impact differs from person to person.

Sharing a drink may have some of the same connotations and cover some of the same functions, fulfill the need for socialising, for quenching your thirst or tasting something you like, the last thing also part of exploring the world, if you try out something you haven’t had before which comes from a specific area or country.

In most or many cities one is surrounded by many different cultures, from another part of the world or only from another part of your town or city

Pretty often the question is – can you interpret what another guy or girl says or does? Does what he says or does mean the same for the one who is doing or saying something and the one who is listening or watching?

If there is a misunderstanding, a misinterpretation, you may carry home a wrong impression of someone. If you start thinking and talking about it, it may spread and create a notion, an idea of the other.

Even if some habits may be disgusting to you, you may also have to live with that fact in a city or town or anywhere.

In a close relationship these misunderstandings may also occur.

Mental wounds of different kinds may make anything more sensitive and difficult, and if the existence of such problems is not conscious to those who carry them around, even more so.

What is important to some people is sometimes a detail in other people’s lives.

Tolerance of others’ habits in life is a key to peace, I think, and it usually takes some time to establish it, to get used to the neighbour’s way of life.

Borders, mental borders, can be very important, to be able to sort out what’s what and also to realise that one does not necessarily have to follow every habit of the people you meet in the neighbourhood, but maybe some.

Unconscious or unfamiliar reactions may create a stir the first time, maybe not the second or third, if they are recognised as something not meant to provoke.