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Around Our Town...Gentle Virtues

Our "Big" World

05/01/2006 - Some graduation caps will be flying! Are we ready to see our graduates step into the "big" world?

By scientific standards, our Earth is big. It is 7,297 miles in diameter. Crossing at the poles, it is 24,860 miles in circumference. Our moon takes about 27 days to orbit it.

In the days before the Concorde jet, when people usually traveled by horse-drawn carraiges and trains, French author Jules Verne wrote Around the World in 80 Days. His character, Phileas Fogg, took eighty days to travel around the world.

A news reporter by the name of Nellie Bly was draw to Verne's adventurous story. After studying dozens of ship routes and schedules, considering the transcontinental railroad across the United States, and convincing the editors of "The New York World", Nellie set off to beat Phileas Fogg's record. Did she do it? Yes, she did -- in 72 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes and (huff, puff) 14 seconds. Nellie may have made our world seems a little smaller to her observers.

A respectable coworker helped me to see our "big world" in a much smaller way. She shared a time when she worked half way around the world and her coworkers were unexpected acquaintances from the United States. Her conclusion went like this: "I try to be good to everyone at all times for I never know who will return into my life. Our world is smaller than we think."

Just after I graduated from high school, I began attending a college in the Seattle area. In my speech class, a gal by the name of Aiyanna explained the origin of her name to us. Once my classmate sat back down, I whispered to her, "Wherever I am in the world, if I heard your name, I will look for you." She responds, "I know you will."

About twelve years later, here in Casper, Wyoming, I hear a minister try to pronounce her name to welcome her. Lo and behold, it is my college classmate Aiyanna!

It was a joy to visit with her and recount our conversation from years past. I told her, "I heard your name and I looked for you." She pleasantly responded, "I knew you would."

Have any of you been to Disneyland? Right after my high school graduation, my folks took me to Disneyland. I can still remember the song "It's A Small World After All" being played during one of the rides. Little did I know that I would learn the truth of that song here in Casper, Wyoming.

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