Tuesday, January 12, 2010

We Live in a Village of 200 Souls

We humans have evolved, and that part of us known as "the brain" has evolved.

We have evolved to deal with 200 people, tops.

I watch with amazement the brags about having "four thousand Twitter followers" or "four thousand friends on FaceBook", or even "four million hits on my YouTube vide", and known that in terms of friendship it counts for nothing.

Literally nothing.

The only thing that 4,000 or 4,000,000 can do for you is present you with the opportunity to make $5.00 off each of them and become financially well-off, a goal to which I aspire.

But don't confuse that with friendship.

I shop at No Frills supermarkets, but have never chatted with any one of the managers; I am one of the 4,000 shoppers who stream through the door each day.

I shop at Big Barn bulk outlets, but with one exception have never chatted with any one of the managers; I am one of the 4,00 shoppers who stream through the door each day.

I view YouTube videos of Rowan Atkinson or John Cleese but have never met either of them - to my deep regret - nor chatted, even by phone, with any of the people who have uploaded the videos.

They and I are nameless and faceless blobs of protoplasm who happen to be husbanding a share of the planet's total available biomass.

I don't have 200 friends, either.

I *might* be able, after much thought, to write up a list of 100 people who I can recognize by face AND put a name to them within five minutes; I doubt I can do 200.

My village includes my sister in Queensland, Franky and George in Adelaide, five ladies at church who I greatly respect, and about 20 people who I meet at networking events and some of whom are always eager to grab a chance for a small Caesar salad at The Montreal Deli.

My village includes about 20 nameless people who are a part of my life - the Indian guy who runs the dollar store across the street, the waitress at the burger joint up on Keele Street just south of Lawrence, ...


Next time you are waiting for the bus/train/plane to arrive or takeoff, try to write down 200 people in your village. I bet you can't.

Now write down your friends, real friends.

Now write a list of those people you'd be willing to go to and beg a loan when you have trouble paying your rent.


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