The idea that the world is small sounds ludicrous in some way. After spending the lion's share of my adult life in Iceland, of course, it is easy to say that the world (the Icelandic world) is small. You do not escape from people, from the past, from the same circles. (You also do not escape from their kids because in Iceland kids and the consequence wagons they ride in are everywhere.)
The world, though, is small enough that random, coincidental connections can be made without thinking or trying for them.