Reverting to childhood

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Remember when you were a little kid, you had a friend with whom you spent all your free time? Maybe he or she was a neighbor across the street, or just someone who shared your passion for Big Bird and liked to babble ad nauseum about it in the kindergarten sandbox. This friendship probably lasted many years, surviving all the bliss and tragedy of elementary school. But by the time you got to junior high, things started to change. You started to identify with different groups of kids. You were developing different mind-sets and different goals. Although it seemed unfathomable when you were younger that you and this friend could ever grow apart, maturity and changing times were creating a widening gap between you. By high school, your communications with that person were limited to an occasional, awkward nod in the hallway. Depending on how violently your new social circle grated against his or hers, your relationship might have become adversarial, even hostile. More likely, though, you were simply forced to accept that each of you was in a different place, looking toward your respective futures in different directions. I bring up all of this because United has capped international commissions for travel agents, and the other major airlines -- once the agents' friends and partners -- surely are contemplating matching as I write this. How about that? School really does prepare us for adult life.

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