Saturday, April 15, 2017

Six Degrees

I had the privilege of seeing the current production of "Six Degrees of Separation" this week. As the effects of the original production, which I'd seen many years ago, had stuck with me for all that time, I was eager to see this one, and I was not disappointed. It was just as consuming, affecting, altering an experience as the first. And yet, through the gift of remembering just the high points, it felt familiar, and yet totally new to me. It was an afternoon of theater that will stay with me for a long time.

Now, this is not a theater review blog, so, what does any of this have to do with, well, anything?

I went into the show thinking, of course, of the title phrase, "six degrees of separation," the idea that we are all much more connected to each other--by no more than six people, as the phrase says--than we realize. Which is kind of what networking is all about. If it is true that we are all so connected, networking our way through a freelance world is actually a much more natural, accessible thing than we realize. I came out of the show, however, thinking about another phrase from the play, the one about holding on to experiences we've had, because even the briefest of experiences can really change us. While the events of the play may be extreme, the idea that every experience--random, or planned, pleasant or disturbing--does change us is not so extreme at all. We may go through life thinking that we make our own path, but it is often the detours we make--or are forced to make--that determine how we emerge, and who we are when we are done.

I had the privilege of spending a great afternoon at the theater this week. And my experience of this "Six Degrees" has definitely changed me...

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