Are you a world or a satellite?

In a few recent conversations, I’ve explained that we could categorize people into two main categories: worlds and satellites. World folks are self reliant and comprehensively exist within society by operating sort of like a planet with a reliable orbit that pulls others into itself. The world inside of a planet is complete and self-contained. Satellites are people who receive transmissions from the world and reflect it back, and / or often depend on a world to follow a clear orbit in order to have a journey.

There is no better or worse in this divide, because it’s not meant to be a divisive concept. Instead, it’s a philosophy that claims all of us to be complementary to one another. If we are honest with ourselves, we can think of a few Worlds and Satellites right away in our lives. It’s a variation on introverted versus extroverted discussions. It’s a simpler human design or Myer Briggs’ personality assessment.

This concept is not in my book and I’ve never written about it before.

It’s something that has popped up as an interpersonal talking point – somewhere online around summer 2022. I identify as a world, and I have amazing satellites. Throughout my life, I’ve had satellites that crash and burn or send the wrong messages, and that’s all normal within this idea. There are going to be some conflicts – collisions, if you will. By saying I am a world, I am acknowledging the inherent flaw of often going about my movements with little awareness about the impact I make all around me. Worlds can be quite dominant. I am.

At first, most people react to this a bit awkwardly. Claiming yourself to be a world or admitting someone in your life is a satellite, or that you are the satellite, feels like there’s an insult waiting to be found in there somewhere. Worlds and Satellites are a metaphor, and I want to introduce it in this blog to see what others think.

What is a world?

For those of us on Terra Mater, the idea of a world encompasses the entirety of geographic space, socioeconomic distinctions, countries, peoples, languages, histories, nature, and human constructs that span what we simply refer to as “Earth.” Sometimes we use “world” as a hyperbole itself, referring to the importance people or places have in our individual emotional prioritization. “You mean the world to me.” “My kids are my whole world.” “I’d give up my entire world for you.” None of that is true, by the way, because none of us truly have control or authority over the entire world – at all. We say these things, because the notion of a world includes all things known and unknown, seen and unseen, and remembered and forgotten. If a person is a “world,” sometimes they have big personalities or complex layers that never seem to reach the tangible bottom or top for those who explore these worlds. It takes a lifetime to truly appreciate the world – the literal one – and it is safe to say that all of us have a little bit of “world” characteristics within us when it comes to how deep we may be.

What is a satellite?

There are two distinct definitions for the meaning of “satellite.” Within astronomy, we acknowledge that any celestial body orbiting a planet or star is a satellite. However, we also refer to manmade structures sent to space for amplified communications on Earth as satellites, and they also orbit the Earth or moon. It’s important to note at this time that the Earth itself is also a satellite. We’ll get to that tidbit later. For now, it’s key to remember that satellites are also self-contained and that their main function is to send and receive. What is being sent and received? That depends on the world and satellite. For people who operate in more reactionary or less independent ways, being a satellite is a great metaphor. I would argue that we all start as satellites in someone else’s world, and we stay there for years until our personalities grow.

The partnership between a world and a satellite is the key to this metaphor.


The partnership between a world and a satellite is the key to this metaphor. To achieve a state of balance, we need to match with counterparts who meet our needs where our strengths come to an end. I would say many human conflicts start off from too many satellites hanging out without a world – no focus or purpose. On the other spectrum, a world with no satellites to send and receive messages is a solitary existence with no real impact on others due to lack of communication. Each personality has its challenges.

From satellite to world

I mentioned earlier that I would get back to the point of how the Earth is also a natural satellite while simultaneously existing as a planet, our world. When we are children, we receive and send messages from our world, because we are in a heavy satellite mode. Our main World is our home and school dynamic. It is why education is such a battlefield these days – the constant battle of the hearts and minds is important during our youngest years and anyone older than 25 knows this. No one will ever fight more for your attention and membership to beliefs than the people in your world when you are young and vulnerable. By the time you’ve aged into a world with a reliable orbit of your own, no one tries long enough to knock you off course. It doesn’t mean that no one will ever try to knock you out of your path, but it is not as easy to do as when you were a toddler or a teenager.

Calm World and World of Chaos

So, here’s the thing to reflect upon until my next installment on this topic:

  • Are you a world or a satellite of another’s world?
  • Is that world calm or a world of chaos?

I find that in my life, I became a world in a very small solar system of planets. My nuclear family of 4 was marked by many things, including no access to our diverse families on various continents in many countries. I went to the same school from preschool through 8th grade, and I lived in the same neighborhood until I went off to college. My life in satellite state was quite obvious in hindsight, because the messages were very consistent for me to receive and send back. However, when the time came for me to move forward on my own, I quickly allowed for many aspects of my existing world to fall apart – implode and explode – to make space for the new world that was to become my own. It was a world of chaos – the interpersonal Big Bang of my life lasted a number of years until everything settled down. I have built a calm world overall, but it still originates from the chaos of my youth, and I am proud of that. It is something I try to never forget about myself, especially when I deal with young people, including students and my own children. This means I realize the value of the satellites in my life, and the value of my impact as a World in the potential worlds that could come to be one day.

More to come on this topic.

-Prin 🙂

3 thoughts on “Are you a world or a satellite?

  1. thewolfofjacobscreek says:

    Each of us are worlds of our own. Planets collide when we meet others. Especially when you meet someone you really connect with.


      1. thewolfofjacobscreek says:

        It’s awesome colliding with other planets. I had written something very similar to this on an old blog a long time ago.

        People are worlds of their own.
        Some inhabited by peace, love, understanding..
        Some by chaos, hurt, pain etc…
        Choose carefully which one you wish to live upon.


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