Thursday, October 06, 2005

Small World? Big World?

Last night at dinner, we were listening to some children's music. The song "it's a small world" came on, and about half way through, my oldest asked me "is the world was big or small?" I responded as best I could to answer a five-year-old's question. I answered, it is small becuase when we were in Kazakhstan, we could call you and talk to you any time you wanted. But it is big because it takes nearly a full day to get to Kazakhstan.

Then she started explain to me that oceans are smaller then the world, and elephants are smaller then the world, and even she is smaller then the world. But that she grew while we were in Kazakhstan. Yes, I said, you did.

I know she does not have an understanding of how big the world is, and the more and more I think about it, niether do I. I have been half way around the world, and back. There is much I have yet to see. Yet I know that events on the far side of the world impact me greatly.

I often tink about a metaphor for this interconnectedness. I call it my spiderweb theory of life. We are all walking along a path, like a spider's silver thread. Sometimes others touch us, and touch our threads, other times, others just come near us, but do not actually touch. Sometimes threads become tightly intertwined.

Coworkers, friends, relatives come and go from our lives, and our threads touch, people we walk by, come close, but do not touch, and best freinds, and spouses, children become tightly intertwined. When something happens to some whose thread is tightly intertwined with our, it impacts us greatly. When something happens to someone whose thread touches ours, it impacts us less, when something happens to someone whose thread comes close, we may not even know it. Because this is all interconnected, something that happens to someone on the far side of the world will eventually resonate accross the web, and depending on how strong that vibration is, it can shake our world.

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