Circles of influence

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Last night I was thinking that you could measure the flow of individuals in and out of your life by creating a simple graphic and placing each name where it belonged. Theoretically this would show you who you knew at what times of your life. It might remind you of relationships you had long forgotten.

I don’t know that this graphic would actually do that, but I can see that it could give you a sense of the great number of people your life touched.

We swim in a sea of people. We know it intellectually, abstractly. This would show it visually, viscerally.

Draw it much like an outline of the solar system, with yourself as the center of your life. Then, in a series of concentric circles, place those you have interacted with:

  • Within the past week
  • Within the past month
  • Within the past three months
  • Within the past six months
  • Within the past year
  • Within the past five years
  • Within the past 10 years
  • Within the past 25 years
  • Within the past 50 years
  • At any time in your life before that.

Like so:

As I say, I don’t know that this would help us much to cluster particular people who were important in our lives at any given time, but certainly it ought to show how many people we have had as part of our lives, how many people’s lives we ourselves have touched.































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