Title and first paragraph below from The Agatha Christie Mystery Collection.
“…I sometimes wonder how things would have gone if I’d noticed at the time just that one essential detail that I never appreciated until so many years afterwards. If I had noticed it—well, I suppose the course of three lives would have been entirely altered. Somehow—that’s a very frightening thought.”
It was late at night and I couldn’t get to sleep so I grabbed one of Christie’s books and randomly opened to the page noted in the above paragraph. An irony, don’t you think, of how many ways our life lessons materialize; well at least until we learn them. I’ve assessed singular essential details throughout my years and like Christie writes: “I never appreciated until so many years afterwards.”
It is a frightening thought of how we impact others; with and without our awareness.
Many of us, those in the six-degrees-of-separation group for certain, know the term, and maybe even its premise. The doubters, you know who you are, say, “…an observation of some merit, but I’ve never seen it work in my life.” Others, like me, have surely rummaged around the internet (not always accurate but forever expedient) in search of a deeper understanding of this enigma.
I do credit the internet for this description: “Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than six intermediaries…”
Okay, so now I have a technical/researched explanation. I take a swig of my morning coffee followed by the last bite of raisin toast and resume my tour of cyberspace in search of sites that can further my knowledge of this hypothesis. A jumping-off place where I hope to meld theory with experience: something I call Janet’s Life! I donate an hour of my creative time until that not-so-quiet voice in my head tells me, “Your novel is…!”
That same evening, as I set the table for supper, an insight begins to bubble like the water that cooks our pasta: The only multiplier to this 6° phenomenon is to play a part in it.
My search is over. I have my answer: Our world is connected, be it by six degrees of separation or amongst those at our kitchen tables. Awareness: How I treat others is never separated from me by more than six degrees.