Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Are you aware of the "Oracle of Bacon" also known as the "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon"? It shows that nearly every actor in Hollywood can be connected to Kevin Bacon in six steps or less. For instance, name any actor. Ok, thank you, Don Knotts, good ole Barney Fife it is. His "Bacon Number" (or degrees of separation) is 2. Don Knotts was in "Big Bully" (1996) with Faith Prince, who was in "Picture Perfect" (1997) with Kevin Bacon.
The theory has been presented in Sociological circles for years, and additionally expressed in other disciplines. It is a really thought provoking idea. All of humanity is connected by (on average) six degrees of separation.
How can this be? How am I connected with a Masai goat herder in Africa?
Well, the answer to that is through my Sociology Professor (Dr. Herb Butler) at Western Illinois University. If you really break it down, unless you live in an extremely insular society, you know people who know people. Having lived in several different countries, and having met many people while I was in those countries, I think I can easily imagine a six degree separation with a very large population.
Look at it this way (and the math is extremely simplified). Say you know 10 people. Each of those 10 people know 10 people, and each of those 10 people know 10 people. From this 3 step example, you are connected to (10+100+1000) 1,110 people. It is an exponential explosion.
Now, I am sure you know more than 10 people if you think hard about it. As an instructor, I have influenced hundreds of students. In Law Enforcement, I have had contact with thousands of people from many nations. There are many areas of connectedness. You could easily see yourself in the millions of people if you could remember everyone you ever met and knew everyone they had ever met...
This conversation reminds me of the old Fabrege Organics shampoo commercial. "I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on..." Remember that one?
That is what Christianity is all about. Jesus knew what He was doing. He handpicked His disciples. He would send them out to reach others, and they would create disciples, and so on, and so on...
If each of us could witness successfully to just 2 people, and each of those 2 did the same, and so on...in 30 steps, that would result in over a BILLION new believers based on each of us. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and share your faith!
Dear Heavenly Father, help me be an effective witness of Your grace and love. Give me the words You need spoken to influence another to You. Father, help each of us open our mouths for You and speaking lovingly into the lives of those You are drawing to You.