I am spending some time in Orlando for a conference this week, and it brings brought to mind, the endlessly repetiive loop of the ride It’s A Small World. Having brought this to mind, I want to take a moment to talk about affinity groups, and why it seems like it is a small world, while in fact, it truly is not a small world at all.
I have already hinted at the reason why we feel like the world is small. Affinity groups.
An affinity group, as I will define it is a group that we select to put ourselves in, and while this might not be a formal group per se, there is some common thread that brings together the people involved in the group. It could be a shared value, a common heritiage, geographic location, or something altogether different. Perhaps even some combination of the multiple things.
The problem with affinity groups, is that often these groups have common charactaristics and interests, so even once we leave that affinity group for another, we end up in a strinkingly similar world view.
While trapped in this world, we find ourselves in a place where the world, like the Disney ride, loops, and appears to us as a small world.
However, what is important to bring to mind, is that there are many, many other groups with which we have no connection, due to constricting ourselves, into some small world.
So while the world may appear to us to be small, in truth, it is absolutely huge. It is just our small mind, that doesn’t comprehend this reality.