"Do I make a difference?"
"When I move.....
when I act....
when I do something....
Does the Universe notice?"
Once again I've found a book that I opened, and fell in. I always loved that phrase, "books fall open, you fall in". One of my all time favorite illustrators, Mary Engelbreit, always puts her own whimsical touch with quotes.
This book, that in my opinion would almost be considered a coffee table book, is one that you can read in about thirty minutes. But I didn't just flip through it. I read every word, letting each one sink in. Andy Andrews had me with "The Noticer" and I discussed that here http://tinyurl.com/6cy6wkk , and he's done it again with The Butterfly Effect.
I've heard about The Butterfly Effect before I read this book, but if you haven't, here is a nice summarization of the idea:
In 1963, Edward Lorenz made a presentation to the New York Academy of Sciences and was literally laughed out of the room. His theory, called the butterfly effect, stated that a butterfly could flap its wings and set air molecules in motion that, in turn, would move other air molecules–which would then move additional air molecules–eventually becoming able to influence weather patterns on the other side of the planet. For years this theory remained an interesting myth. In the mid 1990s, however, physics professors from several universities, working in tandem, proved that the butterfly effect was accurate, viable, and worked every time.
Interesting, yes? It sounds a little crazy. I can hear people saying, "oh come on, ONE butterfly flapping it's wings can influence weather patterns? psshh"
Andy Andrews point, in this book, is this: "Everything You Do Matters" And I support this idea, one hundred percent.
I think some of us, sadly, think we don't matter. We're going through the motions of day-to-day life, thinking that we don't make a difference in the world. I'm here to tell you that is false. We DO make a difference. It may not be on a large scale, it could be something as simple as saying hello with a smile to someone you pass in the hall at work. That person could have just received devastating news, and your hello might have softened the blow. Your smile might have reminded them that there are genuinely nice people in the world, and they deserve to have people like that in their life.
Last week at work I was helping a woman in New York via a chat system we use. I won't bore you with the work related details, they're not important. When I thought we were done, I was just about to close the chat window. She said one last thing to me: "I want to thank you very much for helping me today. Last night when I left work, I came upon an accident on my way home. I didn't know at the time, that it was my best friends daughter. She just graduated from high school. She didn't survive the accident. I've been completely unavailable today, making mistakes left and right as you might have deduced. But you helped me get through it. And for that I thank you, and I will never forget it"
Talk about humbling. I sat there and stared at my screen for a full minute or two before I could even respond. I didn't do much to help her, trust me on that. Or.....I thought I didn't.
"You have been created as one of a kind. On the planet Earth, there has never been one like you....and there never will be again. Your spirit, your thoughts and feelings, your ability to reason and act all exist in no one else. The rarities that make you special are no mere accident or quirk of fate. You have been created in order that you might make a difference. You have within you the power to change the world."
Yeah Andy, I hear you.
See you soon friend,
PS Don't ever fool yourself into thinking that you don't matter. We can discuss this over breakfast! Fruit Smoothie anyone?