Are you a Buttlerfly?

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Have you heard of the Butterfly Effect? It is based on the theory that a small change in one place can result in large differences in another. An example would be when a butterfly flaps its wings in Colorado, a hurricane happens in Miami.The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.

The following is a story about Susan and Tom and how the butterfly effect came into play in a positive way.

Susan got off to a late start one morning and still had to pick up donuts on the way to work. Her boss had called a big staff meeting with the president of the company in attendance and he wanted to make a good impression. Susan was stressed as she rushed around the grocery store picking out the donuts; she was anxious to get out of there quickly. But when she got to the check out line, of course only one lane was open and in front of her was Tom with a full cart of groceries. Susan thought, “Dang, I’m going to be late!” But Tom’s a nice guy and upon seeing that Susan looked a little harried, he graciously agreed to let her go first.

With that, Susan was able to get to the office in plenty of time. She got the coffee going, arranged the donuts nicely on a tray, and made sure her boss, Bill, got the crème-filled one he really liked; the meeting went off without a hitch. So now Susan’s boss was happy, he made a good impression on the company president, and it was a good day all around.

That afternoon Bill got a call from Joe, a customer. They had been involved in a dispute over some equipment for quite some time. Well, Bill was in such a good mood he was willing to work with Joe and they came to an amicable agreement. Now Joe was happy.

A couple hours later Joe, who happened to work in the poultry business, got a call from the food bank. They were really short on turkeys for their Thanksgiving baskets that year. Could Joe help them out? He was feeling generous because he was able to work things out with his supplier and said, “Sure. How many do you need?”

Now the food bank had plenty of turkeys to fill their Thanksgiving baskets. They put in a call to Mary, one of their clients. Mary had been worrying about Thanksgiving. She had been laid off from her job six months prior and was unable to find work; with a family of three children it had been difficult for Mary to put food on the table. Mary knew there wasn’t anything in her pantry for Thanksgiving dinner. Now Mary had a turkey and a big basket with all the fixings.

So there it was. Tom, our little butterfly, with his single act of kindness to Susan that morning, just put Thanksgiving dinner on the table for Mary!

A simple story but it demonstrates how we are all like a butterfly. Every day we touch people in multiple ways. Most of the time, we have no idea what kind of impact we have. But the power of ONE is an incredible force and when we recognize our connection to each other, it becomes second nature to flap our wings in a manner that brings about the highest good for all, including ourselves. For that which we do unto others, we do unto ourselves.

It makes one think. What is the energy we are emitting? What kind of world are we creating with our thoughts, words, and deeds? I love this definition of the word Universe: uni, meaning One; verse, meaning Song. One Song! Imagine for a moment that we are just one note in a giant symphony called life . . . one tiny note in this composition. No matter how we separate into individual little notes, we are still involved in the One Song. Through our collective energy we are composing a symphony; let’s make it a beautiful one.

Flap your beautiful wings today,


  • Excerpted from I'll Meet You at the Base of the Mountain by Donna Visocky

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