Saturday, 8 September 2012
The Butterfly Effect
When our girls were small my husband would often show them how to skip pebbles across the surface of the water. He made it look so easy. It provided them with hours of delight and sore arms the next day. Our eldest is quite competitive, so it was a challenge for her to see who could get the most skips and the greatest distance, while our youngest prefered to hold onto her pebbles.
What fascinated me the most, however, was the result the skipping stones had on the surface of the water. Some would barely touch the water and caused only a few ripples, while others would fall with a loud splash and left a wide circle of ripples. It was fascinating to see what effects the ripples also had on each other where they intersected.
In life we are the pebbles. We happily bounce through life, going about our business, living, breathing and doing, with seldom a backward glance. If we were to take a moment and look about us we would be astounded at the effect we have on everything and everyone around us. We often consider ourselves too insignificant to have any effect, yet every object which occupies a space impacts on other objects around whether we are aware of it or not. It is a law of physics that for every action there is a reaction.
Every choice I make not only impacts on my life, but on other lives too. An action that seems insignificant, impacts on another choice that gets made and that again impacts on another situation. It is what is called the butterfly effect.
A simple smile can set off a chain reaction of positive energy that can change the life of somebody who felt as if they have nothing more to live for. A hasty answer can swing a choice that was still in the balance, one wrong selection can derail a train.
When we start thinking about this we realize just what a great responsibility we have. How we raise our children, the way we interact with others, the things we do as well as the things we don’t do all have very specific results and consequences.
It is impossible to predict which of my actions and choices will have what result, and trying to do so would only rob me of the joy of living. All that is asked of me is that in every choice I make I try to glorify the Lord, that every action I take would be for good, not evil, that every ripple I send out will be charged with positive energy, that the vibes I send out will burst with enthusiasm and encouragement and that my words will be to strengthen and guide all who hear them.
Mostly we are totally unaware of the ripples following in our wake, but the one thing that has the most profound effect on my life as well as others is love. Sending love out into the universe has the greatest ripple effect of all. It ripples through everything and everyone. Love touches people's hearts like no other emotion. Love is powerful and life changing. It can bring strong men to their knees and it can unite nations, and as the song says "Love changes everything."
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