Six Degrees of Separation and Synchronicity


“Six degrees of separation is the theory that everyone and everything is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps.”

Traveling is not always about exotic getaways, beautiful sceneries and indulgence. It makes you question things. It opens up streams of thoughts that have never been explored before.  But then there are times you just want to crawl up under the blanket and sleep for a really long time to get away from the world outside you’re trying to explore. Feeling alone in a big city full of strangers is not much fun. Trying to cross cultural borders, but not quite getting through is frustrating. Struggling to understand the cultural lingo, only to feel like a fool.  Being cheated and conned by people you trusted and thought were your “friends”. Traveling alone as a female, especially in the not so developed parts of the world can be threatening and intimidating. There were times I felt violated and disgusted.  Trust is betrayed and you become jaded with the superficiality that surrounds you. But then I just do it all again. I still maintain a certain amount of trust and optimism for strangers. I still put myself out there, sometimes in vulnerable situations. I still take the risks you have to take just to have some fun. I’ll do it all again – just to feel alive. Just to get lost wandering around soaking up all the new sights, smells, and sounds of a new country. To get to know the people – to connect with a seemingly strange and foreign culture. To find people you share a random connection with in the weirdest places and situations.  To walk the streets and find a total stranger to share a conversation, a cup of tea, or a meal with. And then it suddenly hits you that the randomness of meeting these people is not so random after all – that in some strange way, you were meant to meet. There are no random coincidences, only meaningful coincidences. Synchronicity is a strange and wonderful thing.

“Synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, whereas they are unlikely to be causally related. The subject sees it as a meaningful coincidence, although the events need not be exactly simultaneous in time. The concept of synchronicity was first described by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychologist, in the 1920s.”

Today I met an artist in Bangalore who grew up in the same neighbourhood I used to grow up in.

“The small world experiment comprised several experiments conducted by Stanley Milgram examining the average path length for social networks of people in the United States. The research was groundbreaking in that it suggested that human society is a small world type network characterized by short path lengths. The experiments are often associated with the phrase “six degrees of separation”.

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