Saturday, January 11, 2014

The butterfly effect

I've always been intrigued by the idea of the "Butterfly Effect," this idea that something as simple as a butterfly can change the course of your life; that all of the reactions are correlated to your actions. That idea is showcased in the video below, set to the awesome Red Hot Chili Peppers song "Whatever We Want," a b-side from their "Stadium Arcadium" album.

This is very evident in a broad sense. Clearly, if I had stayed home one night in October instead of going out, I wouldn't have gotten a DUI. Read my book for more information on that. There are smaller events that I often think about and wonder if they would have changed the course of my life in some way.

There was a kid in kindergarten that was a bully to me on the school bus. He was in a different class, but we rode the bus together and he was mean. I don't remember specific stuff he did; whatever one 5-year-old does to another 5-year-old. I told my teacher, but I didn't know the kid's name or anything at the time. There was a girl in the class who rode the bus with me and knew him. She told the teacher and somehow it ended up with me and my teacher in that kid's classroom. She told me to point out who was being mean to me. I looked at that kid and I was scared of him. I told the teacher that he wasn't in the room.

I had my moment to put this bully in his place and I chickened out. I've always been a little bit of a wuss when it comes to standing up for myself in the years that have passed. I've never been in a physical fight and I try to avoid most face-to-face awkwardness. What if standing up to this kid (Aaron) had empowered me to where I continued doing things like that for the rest of my life? Maybe doing that would have led to some fights in my life, which then could have led to me working out to increase muscle mass, which could have led to me becoming an athlete of some sort. Or, something different.

That one moment in 1991 could have changed my entire life. I did one action and my life went one way. But, what if I had done something else?

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