OPINION

The Simple Life: Small World Gifts

Trish Morgan
Special to the News Tribune
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Trish Morgan

Life. My life. Your life. How do we compare? Do we share similarities? Do you and I live in separate households, yet do some of the same things, go to the same places, know some of the same people?

I find the whole concept of "six degrees of separation" or "small world" fascinating! We all know someone who knows someone, and those someones know other someones. The theory starts with each one in the center of the outreach, and then we begin our own little circle of just five of our favorite people.

Then, each of those five favorite people do the same thing as you. They each select five of their favorite people. This circle becomes quite large as the favorite people of your choosing pass it on. The idea is to create the "small world" of five more degrees from you on a large poster board - with people's names in circles drawn out by all of your favorite people selections.

It may seem a little complicated at first, but once you are able to fill all of your circles of people, it is amazing! The next step is to use your preferred crayon and color each circle on your board, designating who you know. For example, you color your own circle in the center, plus you color your five favorite people. Next, go out into the "degrees" and color anyone you have actually met in your lifetime.

The theory tells us that we will most likely have met people clear out to the "six degrees of separation.” This project is quite interesting as you draw lines to everyone you have met, starting with you and your five favorite people.

I'm making my poster this week - at least starting with a "stick person" of me and five of my favorite people. It will be fun to put names in the circles and choose a nice, pointed crayon for the coloring of people I have met. I'll post my results when it is completed. Additionally, I would love to see yours!

The finished project is drawn out similarly to a family tree, but this "tree" will actually be a chart of your "small world.” It can also demonstrate the power of how each of us can reach out to one another, and see the degrees of separation and how far our gifts can make a difference.

We ALL have gifts. Some of us can sing, dance or play exceptional music with instruments. Some of us have the gift of dramatic arts and excellent storytelling talents. Others have wealth to share, and others can share their gifts of grace, love, compassion, kindness, mercy, hope, understanding and goodwill. Some folks can garden like nobody's business, and grow fruits and vegetables from seed. Other folks know to write, do landscaping, build bridges and run a business.

Many have gifts developed through training and experience such as automotive mechanics, home improvements and carpentry and plumbing skills. Some have served in the armed services, and could share their leadership and life skills learned through their service to our country. Some people have the "gift of gab" - and have the gift to help others smile, laugh and cry - often bringing a little sunshine into others' lives.

There are other gifts that people have discovered through the grace of God, and who then can share the goodness of God and all of the ways God can reach our hearts and find a place to live. Gifts are everywhere within all of us - some we just haven't realized.

Once these gifts are discovered, we can look at our chart and choose one of our colored circles, bake a cake or make a pan of lasagne, and make plans to drop off something to one of "your" people. Or, send a "thinking of you" card. Simple things. Simple, kind things that take very little time.

I have plans for my charted and colored circles of people. This is one of my 2022 projects. I have made this one of my new year's resolutions. I plan to delve into my little list of the gifts God gave me, pray about them, pray for my circled people, and then share a little sumpin, sumpin'. Sharin' sunshine, ya know?

Who knows? It might bring a little smile upon their faces. We ALL need that, don't we?

Until next week, my friends...God's blessings!