Our smallest words and actions have the power to stir the world. Ever met someone and walked away feeling like you had a great conversation, without having spoken a word ? Sometimes you don’t say anything, and yet everything is said. Such moments, though rare, have the potential to stay with you a lifetime. They have a beauty beyond this world ——- one certainly beyond words.
It’s all about the connect. We connect with each other at different levels, in different ways. Words. Acts. A gaze. Sometimes, the changing quality of the silence. With some it’s enough to just be connected, what is done or not done, said or left unsaid is not meaningful. With others a thousand conversations are not enough.
The critical point is that such connects needn’t be just between close ones, nor do they need to last forever. Could you imagine that a fleeting connect with someone could have a major impact for the Universe ? The Universe seems to work in strange ways. We are all connected in such a manner that we cannot escape the slightest move of another. In Shams of Tabriz’s 40 Rules of Love (Elif Shafak), the 26th rule is, “The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation…….. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile.”
Heard of the Butterfly Effect ? The scientific theory that the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil could set off a tornado in Texas by creating tiny changes in the atmosphere that could accelerate or even prevent the tornado. Call it the Domino Effect or the Ripple Effect, but the point is the same as in Shams’ 26th rule. We cannot escape the consequences of our actions or words, because “words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.”
We witness this in everyday life with amazing impact. Consider this —– you wake up one morning to a smiling husband offering you morning coffee. You feel good, sing through your shower and are appreciative of colleagues at work. Your colleagues feeling appreciated goes home happy, cooks an extra special meal and serves it with a smile. The bonhomie at the table carries through to the next morning when a well-fed, happy family steps out to spread happiness. You just made the world a better place.
Now look at it from another perspective. Your husband wakes up grouchy, fights with you. Agitated, you shout at the driver. Irritated, he drives aggressively and infuriates many others. Your colleague, receiving the brunt of your anger, spreads the ill will at home and her unhappy family steps out next morning to spread further animosity. You just made the world a worse place.
Heard the story of Polish Prime Minister Paderewski and Herbert Hoover ? Paderewski, also a legendary pianist, helped a couple of students study further. Later as Prime Minister, when he received relief for a starving Poland, he realised that his country’s benefactor was one of the students he had helped, Hoover, now the head of the US Food & Relief Administration. A massive Ripple Effect indeed.
We cannot pass by that person who needs our help, nor be rude to anyone without far-reaching consequences. A kind word spoken is a kind word heard. We have the power to make a difference by just being responsible and aware.
Understanding the power of the Butterfly Effect is a great way to feel empowered. How could you be inconsequential in any way whatsoever, when a little movement or word from you could have such world-stirring effects ?