The Butterfly Effect

by Julie Kiewatt

(effect = cause, affect = outcome)

The Butterfly Effect is a theory stating that the smallest things can start a ripple affect that will create a huge outcome. The theory is named after the question that was once asked, “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?” This question is an exceptional example of the actual butterfly and how it can affect nature. This idea can also be used to encourage us to step out of our normal daily routines and try something new in the hope that a small change can create a tidal wave of hope for the world.

Did you think that just smiling at someone can completely change their day? What about letting someone merge into traffic? Helping an older person with their groceries? Everyday there are opportunities for us to make the world a better place, not only for ourselves, but for everyone. So often we pass up these opportunities because we are too busy or are deep in thought and don’t even notice.

I was touched by something I read in the newspaper a few weeks ago. There was an article about a little girl, six I believe, that had started a foundation to get art supplies to poor children in another country. She felt that these children would be happier if they were able to create art. In turn, the children could send their artworks back to the U.S. to be sold for money that would then feed the children and their families. What a wonderful idea! Can you imagine the number of people that have been touched by the flutter of that little butterfly’s wings? Not only the children receiving the art supplies, but also their families and the communities they live in. The people that buy the artwork, their families and friends are also affected by the story that would be told about the artwork and its origin. The people that are involved in the foundation also would be affected… Do you see the butterfly now… and more importantly, it’s effect?

The question we now must ask ourselves is,

“If one small child can do that, what can I do?”

My challenge to you is to find the opportunity in every situation you are presented with… it might be small, but it will cause something just around the bend, out of sight for you, but not for me.