I know how easy it is to feel powerless in today’s complex world. That’s why it’s really important for you to know about The Butterfly Effect.
The Butterfly Effect was first stated in 1963 by mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz, a pioneer in chaos theory.
It states that a butterfly could flap its wings on one side of the world, creating tiny changes in the atmosphere, that in turn set molecules of air in motion that eventually could create [or prevent] a tornado in another part of the world.
Lorenz discovered it while trying to determine why it was so hard to predict the weather.
Subsequent research by physicists proved it accurate. They even created a Law around it: the law of sensitive dependence on initial conditions.
The butterfly does not create or power the tornado. The flap of the wings is part of the initial conditions that can lead to a chain of events leading to a large-scale chain of events.
Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.
So what does this mean for us? It means that everything we do matters.
We are all put on this earth with a purpose.
When you know that everything you do matters, you matter.
In a world of chaos, violence and economic upheaval, it’s more important than ever that we reach deep inside and let our own light to shine.
We don’t need to take big, earth-changing actions. Every smile, every time you let someone in line before you at the supermarket, every time you show kindness to a child or animal, all have meaning and make someone else’s day brighter.
You were created to make a difference.
This is one more example of the power of Gandhi’s teaching, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
We are all butterflies and everything we do can have far-reaching repercussions.
Molly Larkin is the co-author, with Muskogee Creek elder Bear Heart, of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She blogs about Ancient Wisdom for a Life in Balance at http://www.mollylarkin.com where you can subscribe to her blog and receive a free e-book of inspirational quotes, “What Lies Within You.”