The Truth About the Butterfly Effect

cause and effect help others positive outlook power of action power of language self awareness May 06, 2023


The Truth About the Butterfly Effect

Why does everyone stop and watch a butterfly flutter by when it crosses their peripheral? Is it because of the majestic way it glides through the air, effortlessly flapping its wings in consistent unison?  Or is it the canvas painted colors that catch our eye? Maybe that’s what our external tells us is the reason, but subconsciously it goes much deeper. Much deeper. 

1961, a scientist by the name of Edward Lorenz was running a numerical experiment to test the impact of wind movements on different stages of latitude. Instead of running his fully precise number of 0.506127 he instead rounded down to 0.506.  No biggie right? Just a few decimals cut off, that shouldn’t make much a difference. In fact it made the ENTIRE difference.  What Lorenz discovered through a seamless ‘mistake’ was an earth shattering revelation. The flap of a butterflies wings in America can trigger the weather patterns in North America. Hence the butterfly effect. 

We see this in our own lives as well. The small little words we carelessly speak could have an entire global impact size effect on the people around us. We hold onto every word, whether good or bad, and regardless if the person who delivered the message meant it’s impact to be the way it was. Thomas Edison’s mother famously read the letter he was sent home by his school teacher to read ‘Thomas is a genius’ instead of ‘Thomas will never amount to much of anything.’  Think there is a butterfly effect in that story? One much more impactful than a heavy wind pattern over Virginia created by a group of beautiful Rhetenor blue morpho butterflies deep in the heart of South America.

Our words have the same impact as Thomas’s mother. The words we speak are the life we give. We have the power with each word that leaves the tip of our tongue to either build up an amazing castle within us or crumble that same kingdom to cobblestone rubble. We often like to fantasize about changing millions and millions of lives. But the truth in the matter is we won’t. By ourselves we can’t and won't’, but through the exponentially powerful butterfly effect we can change the world. One impacted life is the catalyst to start an entire forest fire of hope.


The next time you are outside walking and a butterfly comes into vision, don’t just stop and look at the beauty you see on the surface, but think of the impact the effect of its wings can have on millions around the world. Think of the impact your word’s can have on millions around the world!


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