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pain is related to the closeness of the circle one is in
Yesterday I talked about the continuum of life. I want to extend that thinking to reflect on how we feel pain and the closer a person is in our circle the more pain we feel. The farther away from the circles the less pain we feel in any relationship. I have written about Robin Dunbar and his work on relationship strengths before. What applies to friendship also applies to relationships.
Well outside these circles are the people we don’t know. That is why we often don’t feel the pain even when 25,000 people die from an earthquake or 200 people die in a boat accident crossing the Mediterranean. Or when your neighbor’s father dies.
Family members often end up in close circles and we feel the pain even in dysfunctional families where one is not close enough or has disagreements in the relationships.
Sometimes there are exceptions to these. I was impacted for several days when Steve Jobs died. He was not in any of my close circles but more in the known names-known faces circles at best. Perhaps the pain I was sharing was from making meaning in one’s life before one goes and the fact that I have not even started on it, yet - forcing pain from the urgency of what I needed to act in my lifetime.