The six degrees of separation theory, popularized by American psychologist Stanley Milgram (1967), explains that everyone is one degree removed from people they know, two degrees from people their friends know and no more than six degrees away from everyone on the planet.
Liking scientific explanations I found it interesting that Microsoft came up with the idea of using data from their Instant Messenger client to prove the theory. The researchers took an IM message between two unnamed individuals as a link and then examined how to connect 180 billion different pairs of users in the database. They found the actual number of links was 6.6, although 78 per cent of the world’s population can be linked in seven steps or less. However, some took over 20 links to find a connection.
One of the researchers on the project, Eric Horvitz, said he had been shocked by the results. "What we’re seeing suggests there may be a social connectivity constant for humanity", he was quoted as saying by the Washington Post newspaper. "People have had this suspicion that we are really close. But we are showing on a very large scale that this idea goes beyond folklore."
The results are not only amazing but encouraging. By recognizing that we aren’t that far apart may help us to accept each other and see the interconnections and benefit from truly being aware and mindful.
In gratitude and service to you,
Alison/Devinder Kaur &
The PranaShanti Team