I was talking to relatives of mine recently about influence and how it can and can’t affect us. When someone does something, for example give you a compliment, this compliment can affect your actions, your emotions. Your way of thinking. Your day can be influenced by it and you could give your actions a better shot. You study harder for a test, you get a good grade, this good grade leads to you going to university and getting a degree, after which you’ll be offered a job by a high muckamuck, and so on. However, there’s also the other way around. When someone says something bad about you, a mean thing, it might be that your actions will also be influenced by this. You’re not in the mood for studying, you fail the test and get a bad grade, and your chance of going to university is gone. Of course, this is a bit of an exaggerated example, but still, it shows how something small can set something bigger in motion. Influence. It’s an important matter.

I remembered a movie about something alike: a sound of thunder (I looked it up to be sure, and noticed it had quite bad ratings. I thought it was a good movie, nonetheless) The movie is about (no spoilers here) a certain moment in a simulation of history that gets a series of events going that drastically change the present. This so called ‘butterfly effect’ was portrayed in an interesting way and it sparked the inspiration for this post.

What is the butterfly effect?

Ok, so I was doing some research about this topic on the internet, to explain it better to you, but all of it was pretty much scientific mathematical fancy puzzling text. I’ll give it my best shot to explain it to you. The butterfly effect is a situation in which something can have a different outcome than intended or expected, because of its sensitivity. (Still vague, eh?) The example named in the introduction exemplifies this. Another example: a butterfly flapping its wings in America can change the weather in Brazil. Something that small can have effect on something larger. That’s why it’s difficult to predict what the weather will be like in a few months. This recent conversation sparked my interest, thus having me researching it.

My goal with this, how should I call it, braindrop, is to inspire you to (maybe) think about action – consequence a bit. About influence. How much you can affect something, be it for yourself or for someone or something else.

Think about it: pretty cool that you can be the ‘author’ of someone else’s success, right?

(“It was me who made Obama president! LOL!”)

(For further reading, check these websites: STSCI.edu and Urban Dictionary)

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