Every once in a while I’ll find myself getting knocked on my butt by a simple realization that’s not altogether foreign to me. It happens simply because the time is right … I was ready for a lesson … or I needed to hear a certain message in a certain way.
I learned long ago that when something like this happens, I should not question why. I now simply accept the lesson and start looking for ways to apply it in a positive way. I recently stopped by a friend’s home to drop off a book he had requested from my library. When I arrived he had just tuned in to an old movie on TV … The Butterfly Effect, a 2004 psychological thriller starring Ashton Kutcher, Amy Smart and Eric Stolz.
I got caught up in the unusual plot and stayed to watch the entire film. Of course, this movie took things to the extreme for the sake of entertainment value and ticket sales. However, it led me to return home to Google additional insight.
Please forgive me for the following paragraph. Just read it and don’t worry about fully understanding it. It’s foundational, if nothing else.
In reality, the “Butterfly Effect” is a term used as a metaphor in Chaos Theory to describe how tiny variations can affect giant systems, and complex systems, like weather patterns. In short … how little things today can result in big things tomorrow.
Fear not, I understand very little of that myself. So let’s translate all of that gibberish into something meaningful to you and me in today’s world. It’s so simple, and yet, so very powerful.
Have you ever wondered if you make a difference? Well, you do! … in ways you may never realize … for generations to come. And, sadly, you may never know it. However, that doesn’t diminish your impact in any way! There are generations yet unborn, whose very lives will be impacted by one simple thing you share with someone this very day!
For instance, I can vividly recall sharing what I felt were words of wisdom with my three children when they were young. They may have very well disputed the term “wisdom” at that time. However, today I often experience warmth in my heart and a tear in my eye when I hear them imparting, with great sincerity, that same “wisdom” to my grandchildren … almost word for word!
If my grandchildren do the same to my great-grandchildren … well, I’m sure you get the picture here. A few words uttered by me in a moment of sharing could very well impact generations to come long after my demise.
The problem with this scenario is obvious but seldom contemplated. Do we get too caught up in our daily dog-eat-dog world of routine and repetition to pause for just a moment to share that possible wisdom with a child, friend, spouse, sibling, co-worker, neighbor or stranger?
What are we doing that’s more important than the impact our time and words might have for someone in the future? No one ever went to their grave leaving a tombstone which read: “I wish I would have spent more time at work!”
Take a moment from your busy schedule to share some family history. Watch and then discuss the morals of movies such as It’s a Wonderful World, Mary Poppins or The Wizard of Oz. Share old photos. Compare music of the generations. Walk and talk. Enjoy nature. There are so many things you can do today that will be remembered and cherished for decades to come.
You can make a difference but you must first put forth an effort. You and those you love will never regret it!
Take a look at this short video and make plans today to make a difference tomorrow! You’ll be glad you did!