Butterflies in the winter

We’ve been dwelling on the theme of “the Butterfly Effect.” The phrase was coined in the 1960’s after a scientist (mathematician and meteorologist) curiously quipped, “If a butterfly flaps its wings in Brazil, could it set off a tornado in Texas?”

The short and answer is “no”…not exactly, in fact, not even close. There is no evidence that butterflies are to blame for tornados, or birds somehow cause blizzards. BUT, the math behind the butterfly effect does exist. Simply put, a small change in one time and place, can result in a significant change someplace else, over time.

This is intuitively obvious to us in everyday life, we just fail to appreciate it. If you walk just a little faster on your daily exercise route, over time you will lose weight. Save a dollar every day, and in a year, you’ll have over three hundred dollars! If you were flying a plane, a small change of direction, over time, could land you in an entirely different location! (I think you get the gist.)

Take time to observe and appreciate this idea in your life…take a few minutes to recall small things you’ve done that made a difference in the life of someone else, or small kind deeds someone else did for you, and the lasting impact it had. I remember when a man in our church stopped by the office one day and borrowed my car keys (yes, I trusted him), he brought my car back all clean inside-and-out! That gave me a good feeling then, and still does, 25 years later. His kind gesture speaks to me today, take the time for small acts of kindness, they WILL make a difference.

So, even though I’m writing this in February (the weather forecast for this week in Ohio is single-digit temperatures and snow!), you can still exercise the “butterfly effect” in your life. Take the time to notice opportunities you have to do small deeds of kindness for someone else. “Flutter your wings of kindness” and you just may be surprised the impact you have!