Tuesday, May 27, 2008

6 Degrees

In recent months, more so than at any other time I can recall, I've realized that the world is a smaller place than everyone probably thinks. I used to think of the "size" of this world in a physical way. I imagined obscure patches of wilderness in far away places that few have laid eyes on, animals deep in the Amazon that have yet to lay their eyes on modern civilization etc. However, now I tend to think of this world in terms of human relationships. You might say that this sounds very obvious and simple given the highly advanced communications technology of today. You would be right. But what I mean by "human relationships" is
the fabled six degrees of separation that connect all people on earth. I don't exactly know the origins of that theory, which initially caused me to be a skeptic. If you really think about it, according to this theory, there is a new-born baby in the middle of China somewhere (hopefully far from the wreck left from the recent earthquake) that is connected to you via 5 degrees of separation. This isn't easy to swallow.

But like I said- more than ever I have come to observe the truth in this. For example, I'll turn on the TV and see a people I can trace my connection to and watch movies based on stories based on those people, I'll turn on my iPod and hear People Under the Stairs rap about my after-school hang-out in middle school, I'll eat on campus at a popular chicken sandwich place that owes it's existence to a friend of a friend. At the train station last weekend on the way to Fire Island, a young girl enters the same car as my friends and I. She attended the same high school as one of my other friends and was going to meet the same group of people we were. The week before that, while in San Francisco I came across an old friend who currently lives in a remote village in Germany.

These are just a few arbitrary and for the most part material examples of the point I'm trying to get at. I guess the real meaning of my post tonight is that the world is a more interdependent and connected community than we think. Don't be the person who goes day-in and day-out with a care-free attitude that is supposed to be an excuse to be bitter, or lazy and complain about everything. Anyone can not give a damn about anything. I hate when people justify their apathy with a false sense of "freedom" and a wise-ass smirk that leads them to believe they know something no one else does.

Before this post itself becomes a bitter tirade I'll stop at this: Someone I respect once explained to me how he made the most of his improbable life. He broke it down simply and thought that we could all make the most of our lives simply by thinking hard, feeling deeply, and continuing to build positive relationships with the people that surround us and always thinking about the future.

As little as the world is today, there aren't many things out there that should keep us all from being at the very least, considerate.

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