image of trees silhouette

“It’s a Small World” (16.11.21)

image of trees silhouette

After almost two years of little or no ‘in-person’ social contact, a catch-up coffee with a friend made a welcome change today. Making up for 20 months in barely an hour is no mean feat but the encounter left us both the richer for it.

One of today’s revelations was that a longstanding work colleague of my son is also one of my friend’s neighbours. Neither of us knew of we had this ‘other’ connection until our conversation today. It proved a fine example of the old adage, “It’s a Small World”.

As our meeting ended and we parted company, we vowed to maintain our online connection and to not let the gap until our next in-person meeting be so long.

Wending my way through Newcastle’s city centre, I wondered what connections I might have with the people I passed. As they went about their business and I about mine, I wondered how many ‘degrees of separation’ were between us.

The idea that all people are six or fewer social connections away from each other is commonly known as ‘Six Degrees of Separation’. Via “friend of a friend” statements, it is said that any two people can be connected in a maximum of six steps.

Originating in a short story by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929, the idea gained more popularity in 1990 through John Guare’s play ‘Six Degrees of Separation’.

Regardless of how many degrees separate us, there are things that connect each of us and every other human being.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that we all arrive here with nothing, no material possessions. Likewise at the end of our time here, we will take nothing with us. This is true no matter what family we are born into and no matter what we might accumulate in terms material wealth and possessions.

Whether we realise and understand it or not, we are all spiritual beings here and now. As The Police sang in 1981, we are ‘Spirits in the Material World’.

Regardless of our race, creed, skin colour or religion, deep within we are the same. Each of us has that Divine spark that connects with and to ‘Universal Mind’, ‘Spirit’, ‘The Universe’, or whichever other name we use to describe our true selves.

Seeing beyond our differences, whether they be physical, philosophical, political or whatever else, opens our eyes in the truest sense. We will see each other as part of ourselves, searching and journeying on different pathways and yet all heading in the same direction.

However long our time on Earth is, if it is measured in hours, or days or decades, we are all travelling whence we came. And it is the sharing of that journey that connects us all to each other.