In 1963, Edward Lorenz presented a hypothesis to the New York Academy of Science. His theory, stated simply, was that: A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air – eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Lorenz and his ideas were literally laughed out of the conference. So imagine the scientific community’s shock and surprise when, more than thirty years after the possibility was introduced, physics professors working from colleges and universities worldwide came to the conclusion that the butterfly effect was authentic, accurate, and viable.
Soon after, it was accorded the status of a “law.” Now known as the Law of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions, this principle has proven to be a force encompassing more than mere butterfly wings, but the first movement of any form of matter – including people.
The Butterfly Effect is a small little book with a huge message. This author’s quote pretty much tells the story… “Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world.”
One example of this reflects a story about Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and the charge of his ragged group of 80 men – without any ammunition – who captured over four hundred soldiers of the enemy. Historians tell us, had the rebels won at Gettysburg, the South would have won the war … and the war itself would have been over by the end of the summer. If so, chances are that today we would exist as two countries, the Union and the Confederacy. North America would be divided into nine to thirteen countries. Which means – when Hitler swept across Europe in the 1940s, had Chamberlain not charged on that afternoon so long ago, there would not have existed a United States of America to stand in the breach; or to fight and win two wars on two fronts at the same time. The United States of America exists as it does today because of a single man; One thirty-four year old schoolteacher and one move he made more than a century ago.
The point being – everything we do matters!