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I don’t make friends easily.  I tend to be on the socially awkward end of the geek spectrum.  As such, the few people I consider my friends are people whose presence in my life I truly treasure.  These are people who I feel truly blessed to have the privilege of knowing.

I was pondering on this fact the other day and it struck me how my friends are almost compartmentalized into neat little groups.  Then, I realized that many of these groups were just parts of larger groups, and I got a headache and decided to stop thinking for a little while.  But, when I returned to the concept I realized that all the way back to high school, and perhaps even prior to that, the community of people I surrounded myself with were really overlapping groups of people.

And that’s when I understood that much of life is a Venn Diagram.

I don’t know how many people learned about these things in early math classes, but the concept has always fascinated me.  The ability to take concepts, people, items, or anything else that exist on some strange proximity, and neatly map it into a diagram that shows their relationship, and lack thereof, to one another in a concise form is an amazing feat.

But, when applied to different areas of our lives, the concept is a little more interesting.  It’s especially interesting if you think about your relationships with people over time.  Try putting together a diagram of people from 5 or 10 years ago, then try it for today.  Who is still in your orbit?  Who has moved on?  How many people overlapped before compared to now?  I know that personally my diagram has come closer to individual circles with little or no overlap over the years, which seems odd.

I’m not sure what it says about me, but it’s probably a bit “off” which would seem wholly appropriate.

I think perhaps an even more fascinating look would be to link multiple diagrams and see how far apart we really are.  Is the idea of “Six Degrees of Separation” a reality, or is modern society moving us farther from one another?

Please, feel free to philosophize.


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