Ah the good ole butterfly effect. The title of one of my favorite movies of all time actually, but more importantly, a very relevant concept that we often do not consider in every day life. The concept simply being that the smallest occurrence, such as the flutter of a butterfly wing, can cause a typhoon half way around the world. Actually though, the particular origins of the phrase are a lot more nerdy than this (it has something to do with the weather), but I like to think about it in the simplified, movie relation; the simple, everyday choices we make in life are all very important to the grand scheme of things. I tried to look up online how many choices the average person makes a day, and all my sources say different things, but it's definitely in the thousands! That's a lot of freakin choices! Just think, that possibly any one of those could alter the rest of our life at any moment.
Yes, yes, I know, this blog is another one of my deep philosophical ones, but I have been thinking of this concept lately. The world today could use some deep thinking sometimes, rather than just speaking and doing things out of anger and spite. These are some scary times we are in people! It's hard NOT to think about all of the chaos. However, we can use this as an opportunity to analyze cause and effect... on a global scale!
That's right ladies and gentleman, the choices that we make in life will most likely affect more than just us, but we are only concerned with ourselves... for the most part. There are so many people in the world, it's hard to think about each group being affected differently. There's no time! It would consume our waking life, ya know? When I was a little younger, I admit that I use to make some very impulsive, life changing decisions, that didn't really seem all that life changing at the time. Looking back now, it seemed pretty selfish to only think about the outcome from one way. My way (that was a great song by Usher... his first single I think). It's hard to put yourself in someone else's shoes (especially if they are too small for you or they stink). But that is exactly what I try to do more of these days. I also have realized that I like to play devil's advocate ALOT. I'm not just practicing my fantasy defense attorney skills, I try to get people to look at situations other than from the obvious view point.
Everyone remember's going to the doctor and getting hit in the knee with that mallet thing, right? This is probably the most obvious form of cause and effect. If somebody hits you in the knee, your body has a natural reaction of a slight kick. We can't help this! Or can we? Welllll, maybe not with our knee, but we CAN with our minds. If someone takes a swing at us, our natural reaction would be to swing back, right? Well, what if we didn't? Fighting back isn't a natural reaction, it's socially learned. Usually in a fight situation though, there is no time to contemplate things while someone is constantly throwing punches. But there are many "battles" that do take place over the course of days, weeks, years even! Plenty of time to think!
This brings me to my physics lesson for the day. Yay physics! Newton's third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This can easily be applied to many things other than just boring science. Everything that happens in life, to us, or to the world, happens in two parts. Forces always come in pairs. The direction of the force on the first object (us), is opposite to the direction of the force on the second object (the thing that happens to us). While a particular thing is happening to us, simultaneously, something is also happening to the thing that is happening (if that makes any sense). In the great movie of the butterfly effect, the main character really tried to go back in time and change the choices he made, supposedly to help the future him. What he didn't realize though, is the changes it would make to every subsequent event thereafter. Our choices don't just affect us! Thinking about how our reactions to actions will affect others will absolutely help the world get closer to understanding one another. Perhaps, dare I say it.... love one another? It is true that one person's choice could end up affecting the entire world, be it negatively or positively. Whatever another person's choice may be, our reactions are equally as important. So choose wisely young grasshoppers!
p.s. This is not to say that we should all over analyze every little choice we make throughout the course of a day ( should I go pee... or hold it???!!), it's not that dramatic! We just have to understand that every choice WILL have a consequence. This is how we learn!
p.p.s. I actually really hate science. It was always my worst subject in school! (I got a D in earth science AND chemistry, and then an F in physics! I was too hippie for those classes...way ahead of my time.)
p.p.p.s Now I'm on the hunt for a pirated version of the butterfly effect online. That really is my movie!