Just a few chapters deep into Abundance and I am smitten. This is exactly the gritty yet conversational sort of education I have craved, specifically on the topic of outlook and positivism. This book, so far, is framing global well being and how we as individuals could approach big topics humanity faces, by breaking down not just socio-political and economic issues but also biological design. The how are we wired to operate kinds of questions that always grip me.
Ok. A full review and hopefully some deep discussion after I actually read the entire book, haha. Tonight I want to touch on one skinny little mention of a really interesting detail, from page 36 if you happen to have a copy. It’s the Dunbar Number, and it’s all about relationships.
After years of work and study, a researcher from Oxford University named Robin Dunbar landed on the anthropological fact that humans have evolved to nurture and maintain about 150 interpersonal relationships. One hundred and fifty. How does this number strike you? Because it has been swimming in my head all day (I really this around 5:00 this morning) and the number has felt both enormous and minuscule depending on what context I choose.
Relationships, though, not just contacts or followers or demographic-sharers. It’s also about more than just neighbors and classmates, though of course all of these people could provide life connection. But true, one-on-one, genuine relationships are, apparently, meant to be limited.
Can I effectively maintain that many though? Can you? Jessica and I explored this topic all afternoon, and Handsome and I did early this morning before he left for he Commish. (Two solid relationships, by the way, which I appreciate deeply and which will forever be worth cultivating.) They each had insight that I hadn’t even considered.
I find it fascinating to reflect on the variety of depth and quality that so many human relationships could display. Each one offers and demands such different gifts and efforts. And in those moments when 150 sounds high, I wonder if it’s because I am allowing my energy to leak out to lesser priorities in less meaningful ways.
Ok. I have dinner to cook and a few more chapters to read. Our windows are open, Klaus is snoring contentedly, and I am buzzing with gratitude for so many bouquets of late season flowers scattered around the house. Thanks for checking in!! Please share your thoughts below and I will respond. I hope to hear lots of perspectives on the Dunbar Number.
“The future is better than you think.”
-Peter Diamandis & Steven Kotler