This I Believe

Jack - Saint Louis, Missouri
Entered on August 27, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in circles. I believe in a mental image similar to an infinite amount of linked Olympic rings; except each circle has the ability to link with any number of other circles, not just one.

In my imaginary layered chain-mail fence each person is represented as a single circle – and my actions, thoughts, demeanor dictate the way my circle moves. As I move, I unavoidably collide with other’s circles. These circles are relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, cab drivers, street-corner evangelists, the media, the Public Address system in the airport; every individual that enters my life in any way, their circle connects with mine.

Everyone I see on a regular basis has a circle that, at this point in my life, travels within mine, and mine within theirs. Like a Venn diagram, the shared space created by the overlap in two, three, or more circles is time in each individual’s life spent affected by the others.

People that spend a large amount of time in my life cross farther into my circle with theirs; my family, my teachers, my friends, my girlfriend – they all overlap in a large way. Visibly altering my actions from day to day.

While the person I wait for to the cross the street’s circle, only makes contact with my at a tangent, a single point of contact. I won’t see that person again in my life, but the extra forty-five seconds I spent while traveling on towards my destination may have left a larger possible impact than a lengthy friendship.

What if an accident occurred on the road I was the driving and the sole fact that this individual was crossing the street saved my life. It is these tangent moments mixed in with larger, supposedly, “more meaningful” moments that foster my belief in circles.

Each additional person born weaves a larger portion of this global web of inter-connectivity. The circles of those past do not cease to exist, as they still may leave an impact on people in the future. It is impossible to avoid contact with the web. At birth one is already connected.

Some might define a circle as a set of all points at a set distance from a fixed center – I define a circle as a lifetime. And you and I…….our circles have just collided.