December 11, 2022: On the Wings of a Butterfly
In a world that too often feels full of conflict and strife, it can be disheartening thinking that we can make a difference, to turn the tide of despair over the amount of negativity, prejudice and horrific events that seems to be prevailing in the daily news. Yet, if one reflects on the chaos theory, we can make a difference in our own lives and those of others.
In the chaos theory, developed by mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz, French mathematician and engineer Henri Poincaré. and American mathematician and philosopher Norbert Wiener theorized that small causes may have large effects in weather. One example, which later became popular was that the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings could hypothetically lead to a tornado thousands of miles away.
This past week, I had an opportunity to share with our granddaughter an example of how small choices can make a difference in our lives as well as that of others. We were out shopping and had picked up some frames. When we made it through the long lines to the cashier, we were impressed with not only how friendly and helpful she was, but also how she went out of her way to make sure our products were safely packaged. I made a point of thanking her and then took the praise a step further. I asked if we could talk to her manager to share how impressed we were with her service. She was at first startled, and then grinned widely before calling her manager to come to the front. Several minutes later, the manager came up to us. Her whole body language and facial expression indicated she was bracing herself for negative comments. When I proceeded to complement the young cashier and say how much we appreciated the great service, the change was dramatic. So much so, that my 13-year old granddaughter Maya later remarked, “Nonny, did you see how she changed?” and she did, from a closed expression of dread to one of open and visible delight.
Once in the car, I shared with Maya, my thoughts on how even though we can’t change many things in this wild, world of ours, we can make small choices daily to make it a better place. Like ripples in a pond, our choices reach out to impact our community….whether it’s our environmental community to how we treat others.
Whenever I get overwhelmed over the negativity in the news, I think of what I can do to make a positive difference. Taking two minutes to share with a manager our appreciation for excellent service, was a drop in the well of time, but it made a difference. Choosing to pick up cans along the side of the road is one way my husband Ron wants to protect the environment. There are a myriad of choices we make every day. Thinking of how we can make a positive difference will be the fluttering of our wings.
The idea of how small changes can impact the world have been shared throughout history. We’ve compiled some of our favorite quotes to inspire you with the idea that each one of us can make a difference.
Stay faithful in things large and taking on the world, but stay faithful in those things small – because remember it’s the small things, the size of a mustard seed, that ultimately moves mountains.Cory Booker
“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in our hands to make a difference.”Nelson Mandela
“If you cannot feed a hundred people, feed one.”Mother Theresa
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”Edward Everett Hale
“There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we are brave enough to be it.”Amanda Gorman
“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say it’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem, then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”Fred Rogers
“When you see something that is not just, not fair, or not right, you have to do something. You have to say something. Make a little noise. It’s time for us to get into good trouble, necessary trouble.”John Lewis
“We can’t just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. And we have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends, and our neighbors.”Dolly Parton
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”Jane Goodall
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”Mahatma Gandhi
Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read our blog especially during the busyness of the holiday season. We invite you to share it with someone who might find it inspirational and/or meaningful. If you have a quote that inspires you as well, please feel free to share it. And celebrate all those flutters of butterfly wings.
Thank you for taking the