Every person is a network; every new relationship is a World Wide Web.

We are all social systems; only our pets come with no leashes. People are always tethered to other friends and family.

When we get a boyfriend, we inherit his cousin. When we make a new friend we get to meet their friends. When we marry a wife, we marry her father.

Arranged marriages in India bank on this reality. One family courts, woos, shops another. They know what they are getting into –a lot. More than the adored one at hand. They are merging clans.

When I married my wife, I got her mother. It was a little rough, then better, then downright family. I went from flinching to hugging. I helped her buy a car, a condo and a new son — me.

For this very reason we should choose well, and choose often and choose with our hearts and eyes open. Life is best lived as a collector — of people. Everyone we add adds others to us. I just picked a new dentist. Now I’m getting to know and have fun with her whole staff.

Teresa is one of my many new friends from church. With Teresa I get her beautiful children. Summer is my colleague and friend at work. With her, I get her amazingly insightful husband Will. Laurel is my awesome, super-accomplished daughter. Through her I get a relationship with her cool boyfriend Justin.

This is the summum bonum within the crystalline sphere of the primum mobile.

Relate; inherit supreme good — more precious people.

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