A butterfly flutters its wings on one side of the world and causes a hurricane on the other side. This concept knows as ‘The butterfly effect’, which was initially used with weather predictions (Lorenz’s Chaos Theory), gradually gained popularity among theorists to explain events not limited to science.
In weather prediction, the butterfly effect denotes the sensitive dependence of major changes in weather on even the smallest changes in initial conditions. That a hurricane can be started by a seemingly insignificant event in nature such as a butterfly flapping its wings, may sound ridiculous at first, but its true. In common use, the concept states that small actions or occurrences which may at first look inconsequential, can have large effects over a period of time. Various events in history have been analysed and theorized in accordance to the butterfly effect. A particularly interesting one being, how a ship of Cuban immigrants sinking led to America invading Iraq. It’s difficult to actually prove any of it, and largely depends on how you interpret reality. But if you look closely enough, each and every event in history can be an example of this. And not just history, but even personally, any big decisions or changes in your life could ultimately be traced back to a very small incident; say a person you met, or something you saw or heard. And that brief moment which may have gone unnoticed then, has led you to where you are now.
As fellows, we go out in the field and work everyday, because each one of us wants to bring about a change in society. It sometimes gets exhausting and overwhelming, and when the fatigue sets in, we begin to question if it’s all really worth it. If this report that I wrote, or the movie screening that I organized, is going to bring any actual change. Doubt begins to eat away our determination, and we feel like giving up. It is in moments like these that we should think about the butterfly effect and start looking at the bigger picture. The small things you do each day may not look important enough right now, but maybe unknowingly, you have set a chain of events in motion that may later on change the world. It seems far fetched? Yes. But is it impossible? No.
So keep doing your work with the same enthusiasm everyday. Trust me, you are a butterfly, capable of bringing a storm of change!