Six degrees of separation is the theory that anyone on earth can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries. The theory was first proposed in 1929 by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy in a short story called Chains.
Various people have tested Karinthy’s theory, and generally agree that this is, indeed, a small world that we live in. And we all have our own “small world” stories to tell.
I’ve become interested in the webs of relationships that we all live in because of my work as a church planter. Someone knows someone who knows someone. The first someone may not be the person who can help you, but the someone two or three connections down the line may be.
I’ve quit discounting the help that anyone might give me. They may be radically different in theology, philosophy, lifestyle, or interests yet because of their connections they may be of great assistance. I am finding that, approached correctly, most people are quite interested or helpful with respect to my project.
Human relationships are like a giant spider web. We’re all connected in one way or another. Respecting that is a first step to great accomplishment.