Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Six becomes Five

If there are six degrees of separation between everyone on the planet, we can build a closer world step by step. Six becomes five. Five becomes four. I was sitting in a coffee shop on my first day in San Francisco chatting to a friend who had lived here, but was in Sydney now. He sent a message to a few friends. One was having a house party a few hours later. So that night I was surrounded by San Franciscans. I had chats about Drumpf, Black Face, Privilege, Cultural Appropriation, Bollywood, Tiny Houses, Simplicity and how we tend to hate people most intensely when we have a lot in common. I knew no one when I arrived.

Friends of Friends become Friends in San Francisco

When I was in Seattle, I overheard some South Africans speaking and introduced myself. We chatted for a while. We were far from home and this was a trigger for conversation. If I was sitting in Cape Town, and said 'Oh, sorry I overheard you talking and you have a South African accent, I am also from South Africa', instead of conversation, I would get a quizzical look. In San Francisco, all the languages of South Africa, all the differences, all the problems melt away and people talk

Because people are busy, I think friendships start getting culled as we get older rather than built. Life slowly trims the leaves until we are left with a core. That isn't going to be a very productive way for us to challenge ourselves to open up our world view.

Introduce your friends. Don't stop making friends. Make friends with people who aren't like you. Walls don't tear themselves down. We tear them down consciously by caring enough to make the time.
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