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Tag six degrees of separation

So you want to change the world…

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So you want to change the world…

Okay, so everyone’s probably heard of six degrees of separation. The theory that every person in the world can connect with any other person in six steps or less. It can be a bit of fun working out just who you’re connected to. I’m two degrees of separation from Lisa Curry Kenny for example having spoken on the same stage.

And then we’re all probably familiar with the idea that emotions spread like viruses. If you’re happy you infect those around you with happy feelings. Unfortunately it’s the same for the chronically cranky. They call that emotional contagion.

Taking these two concepts together you’ve got something pretty incredible.

I heard retired Admiral William McRaven put it like this recently. In a commencement speech at the University of Texas, he talked of creating positive change in the world. How the 8000 graduating students could go out there and make a difference. But not in some general sort of way. Instead he gave solid figures that make great things possible across generations, across the entire globe.

Bascially he said this. That in our lifetime we will on average meet 10,000 people. That’s a lot of people. But if we change the lives of just 10 of those people and those people each change the lives of 10 people and those people another 10 each and so on, then within a hundred and twenty-five years, we would have indirectly contributed to the betterment of 800 million lives. Go one more generation than that and you can change the entire population of the world.

That’s pretty incredible isn’t it.

Touching another person’s life for the better is an incredible gift to both the giver and the receiver.

So where can you make a difference?

Why stop at just 10.