I’m going to date myself as I begin this Puzzler’s Corner. Sometime in the last century, when Kevin Bacon and the films he was in were very popular, someone introduced a game, in which you could connect other stars to him within 6 films. That’s how I first learned about the 6 Degrees of Separation Concept. An ABC news show once featured a story on how the concept worked. They chose two random people in New York City, to find a common person who knew them both. The show chronicled who they spoke with in order to connect with one another. The young woman in the story was a ballet dancer, who happened to know several people in the restaurant industry. The young man was a sous chef. In less than the 6 degrees of separation, the two young people were able to find a friend who knew them both and introduced them to each other.
Over the years I have thought about people I know and who they might know as well. My son, Terrance, frequently attends Comic Book Conventions. His goal is to obtain as many actor autographs as possible. Through him I am two degrees away from meeting Paul Rudd, Nichole Nichols, Robert Hayes, and Frank Langella. I also know a couple of directors. Through their films, I have a much longer list of Hollywood celebrities that are separated by two degrees.
Some of the connections we make are stronger than others. My sister, who has remained in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, her entire life, knows second and now even third generations of families, extending her local connections. Growing up, my mom often shared with us it wasn’t so much about what you know, as it was about who you know.
The people we know can help us reach out and connect with others. Create a list of people you know with business skills, fund raising knowledge, artistic talent, and craftsmanship. How can they help you connect with others to realize your vision? Are there teachers, cooks, landscapers, computer specialists or others who can help you achieve your mission for those who are in need? Within 6 people, can you meet someone new and learn how your lives are similar as well as different? What new roads will these connections open for each of us as we continue to seek to answer the Lord’s call upon our lives? May we begin to establish new relationships to help us fulfill the Lord’s mission for all of His children. And Amen.