I was walking the labyrinth the other day and I found myself thinking about connections. I thought of the old Kevin Bacon game – Six Degrees of Separation. In this game, an actor is named and then everyone brainstorms about how that person worked with someone who worked with someone who knew Kevin Bacon and soon it becomes clear how everyone in Hollywood is linked.
I realized I didn’t know how or if I was connected to Kevin Bacon (although he was born in Philadelphia – not far from where I lived a majority of my life, so chances are good that I know someone who knows him or I know someone who knows someone who knows him.) But then I excitedly realized I have three friends (that I know of!) who have had personal audiences with the Dalai Lama! How cool is that?! I am only one degree of “separation” – or more accurately, only one person away from being connected to the Dalai Lama! (I personally prefer to think that we are all six degrees of CONNECTED to everyone else. Doesn’t that make a lot more sense?)
I began to think further. My goodness! I met Naomi Tutu last year through my dear friend, Barbara! That means I’m only one degree of “separation” – or, in this new and more logical paradigm, only one or two people away from being connected to Archbishop Desmond Tutu! (And Naomi is quite a shining light in her own right. I was blown away by her presence and speech at a middle school in New Hope, PA last year.)
Then I realized, through Barbara yet again, I am also connected to Mahatma Gandhi because she knows his grandson! (Yes, I know Gandhi is no longer living, but still…) Wow! I love this! I love being connected to all these luminaries on the planet!
Many of us know that there are multiple spiritual traditions that talk about the interconnectedness of everyone and everything on the planet. Shamans and other spiritual folk are familiar with the concept of an energetic web that inextricably links us all one to another. And, of course, obviously we now also have a web of a different kind – the www worldwide web (great name, come to think of it.) Now it is increasingly unusual NOT to be connected!
Our web of influence connects us to family, co-workers, neighbors, clerks in stores, tellers at banks, ticket-takers at toll booths, waitresses at restaurants, clients and customers, people in our place of worship, our children’s friends, our friends on Facebook…. We are so very connected. Now, more than ever, we are connected.
Of course, in addition to being connected to wonderful and famous people like Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, I am equally connected to those I may not like or respect very much. I’m sure if I tried (which I confess I do not want to do!) I could find a link from one of my German ancestors to Hitler. I imagine many of you could as well. Remember our connectedness goes in ALL directions to ALL people.
Realize also that along this web of connectedness our thoughts, words, and actions ripple out and touch everyone – both those we “like” and those we don’t. Science is catching up to this concept with the Butterfly Effect. Every little thing we think, say, or do does have an impact. With every thought, feeling, word, song, prayer, and action, we are touching someone. And in fact, because we are all connected, we touch everyone!
So, bearing that in mind, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we each could endeavor to live with as much love and grace, joy and kindness as possible? Let’s remember that the ripples and ramifications of our actions vibrate throughout the web and touch the entire world.
Big blessings to each one of you.
I am glad to be connected with you!