Choose your language:
Late last August I decided to brave a Florida summer for a family vacation to Disney World. The Magic Kingdom is often referred to as the happiest place on Earth … but that’s up for debate when it’s almost 100 degrees outside and you’re carrying exhausted kids on your hip. Amidst the Mickey Mouse-shaped ice cream, Space Mountain, oversized characters hopping everywhere and throngs of sun-drenched families shuffling to all the same rides, a profound thought occurred to me. No, it was not that there would have been less sweating and whining had we stayed at the pool instead of trekking through the Magic Kingdom. It wasn’t even my surprising love of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. Believe it or not, this epiphany happened on the classic ride many of us have poked fun at: It’s A Small World.
Even if you haven’t been on this ride, you’re probably familiar with the high-pitched themed song that plays throughout: “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all, it’s a small, small world.” Maybe it was the heat, the borderline dehydration or the multiple times we rode, but this classic suddenly came to life before my eyes as if I were a small child all over again. You see, 30 years ago the ride had opened my eyes to the world being bigger than I ever thought possible. And here I was, 30 years later, having the ride open my eyes again—but in a different, possibly more profound, way.
As a child, I had been struck by the beauty of the unique differences that can be found in people from all corners of the globe. But the realization that we are all connected as citizens of this world had never occurred to me. The power that can be harnessed when different people come together to accomplish a task, just like this ride has accomplished, made my mind race to today’s marketplace.
So what had changed in 30 years? The proliferation of the Internet, mobile technologies, advances in transportation and the interdependence of economies from all over the globe truly make our world smaller. As countries, businesses and individuals become more connected, a person’s network acts as a guide for navigating through the complex structure of this small world.
Never in the history of humankind have more people been able to work with one another, regardless of location. The world is a complex, colorful place that is much harder to navigate than just sitting on a boat floating through a ride at Disney World. Walt is still right, though, when his ride said, “It’s a small world after all.” I would just add to that, “It’s an even smaller world after all.”
So we can choose to recognize, just like Walt did, and build a diverse network that transcends all boundaries, making our journey through life run smoother. The other option is not getting on the boat and missing the true beauty and power that is in today’s even smaller world.
Wes Claudio is a long-time IT recruiter who helped build the TEKsystems Consultant Retention Program and now leads delivery/recruiting operations in downtown Chicago. He believes jobs help give purpose to people’s lives, so he's passionate about helping consultants achieve fulfillment through meaningful careers. In his spare time, Wes enjoys reading, running and being an active dad participating in a variety of activities with his three kids.