'I see humanity as a family that has hardly met. I see the meeting of people, bodies, thoughts, emotions or actions as the start of most change. Each link created by a meeting is like a filament, which, if they were all visible, would make the world look as though it is covered with gossamer. Every individual is connected to others, loosely or closely, by a unique combination of filaments which stretch across the frontiers of space and time...To feel isolated, is to be unaware of the filaments which link one to the past and to parts of the globe one may never have seen.
The age of discovery has hardly begun. So far individuals have spent more time trying to understand themselves than discovering others. But now curiosity is expanding as never before...To know someone in every country in the world, and someone in every walk of life, may soon be the minimum demand of people who want to experience fully what is means to be alive. The gossamer world of intimate relations is in varying degrees separate from the territorial world in which people are identified by where they live and work, by whom they have to obey, by their passports and bank balances... but the art of encounter is in its infancy.'
Theodore Zeldin - An Intimate History of Humanity