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June 15, 2021

Six Degrees of Separation

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There’s a theory called the Six Degrees of Separation that states all people are no more than 6 relationships away from everyone else in the world. This suggests that everyone, from the President of Australia to a goat farmer in Laos, to a tour guide in Chile, is connected. To put it another way - Everyone in the world is a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of friend of a friend.

That’s not too ridiculously far out if you ask me, and knowing this new-found commonality and proximity we have with everyone, we should start treating each other the same way. “Strangers are just friends waiting to happen”, and our lives can be greatly enriched if we embrace the friend in everyone we come across.

Sometimes walking down the street I see someone and I think, 'If circumstances were different and life brought me and that person together, maybe as a neighbor or a co-worker or a cashier you strike up conversation with at a grocery store, I could learn their story and we could be good friends.' Now trying to meet everyone you come across in that depth is going to be too much to manage, but if we use that same curiosity more often it very well could open the door to some new and incredible relationships.

And it’s not that far of a stretch. We’re all already connected by 6 degrees of separation, and we should lead with treating others as friends we haven’t met yet rather than strangers who threaten us. It’s an abundant mindset and the world would be just a little bit better if we adopted it.

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