Sunday, June 30, 2013

THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT by Allen Laudenslager & Bryan Neva

Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?  —Edward N. Lorenz, MIT meteorologist, 1972; aka “The Butterfly Effect!”

How does any one of us change the world for the better?  We see problems all around us: in our families, at work, in our neighborhoods, in our cities, in or society, in our nation, and we feel totally helpless to change anything.  Well here's a few things to consider.

For starters, if you want to change the world first begin with yourself.  Start by reexamining your belief system.  After all is said and done, if you haven’t bought into a new paradigm for living you’ll just be spinning your wheels.  Repentance literally means to change your mind, and changing your mind is half the battle to changing your life.

It takes time to become a better person; it doesn't happen overnight.  Psychologists tell us it takes at least six weeks just to start building one good habit.  So if you’re trying to lose weight or stop smoking it’ll take time and effort, but the rewards you’ll reap will be tremendous.  The process of working towards our goals each day is what makes life so interesting and enjoyable.  Breaking old habits is not easy and it won’t happen overnight, but if you start today you’ll be one day closer to a better way of living.

You must begin wherever we are.  The Stoic philosophers believed that in life there are things within our control and things outside our control.  We shouldn't concern ourselves with things outside of our control; we should only worry about what’s within our control.  And when you really think about it, the only thing really within our control is our ability to choose. You can choose good rather than evil.  You can choose to behave honestly, ethically, and morally rather than dishonestly, unethically, and immorally.  Everyday is full of choices including the choice to do nothing!

So when we choose to cut corners, to lie, to cheat, to steal, to mistreat others, or to turn a blind eye to injustice, we should ask ourselves who else is affected by my choices?  Here’s a clue: there’s a lot more than you think! 
  
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing’s going to get better, it’s not!  —From the book The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

Whatever we choose to do we must keep in mind that we’re not only responsible for what we do but for what we don’t do.  If you legitimately have it in your power to improve things, then, by all means, you should.  Sometimes it only takes the flap of a butterfly’s wings to cause great change in the world.  History is peppered with great men and women such as Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa of Calcutta who flapped their “butterfly” wings and affected great change in the world.  History is also littered with the corpses of bad men and woman whose unethical and immoral behavior has been harshly judged.  God loves to use simple people to help bring His Kingdom into the world.

We can start today by not returning evil for evil or injustice for injustice.  We don’t have to be dishonest, unethical, or immoral because others are.  We don’t have to hold grudges against others and get even with them every chance we get.  Instead we can help to change the world by choosing wisely, and by living a life of love and forgiveness for others.  Then and only then we’ll be able to help change our world for the better.  And maybe if we’re really blessed, people will see our good-works and want to emulate our honest, ethical, and moral behavior.  Little by little, when each of us does our part to make our corner of the universe a little better, the rest of the world will slowly but surely get better. 

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