Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and hear the pounding of rain outside my window, an automatic thought escapes from my drowsy mind: “It’s going to be one of those days.”
One of those days.
You know, the day when you throw on the first thing your hand grabs from your closet and you stumble out the door. You don’t look good and you don’t feel good. Then, you realize you are 2 minutes late and have just missed the bus. It is also the day you get to the office and realize you forgot your lunch on the kitchen table, or the day when you forgot to bring your hard-copy essay to class. When you finally return home, you hear your mother nag at you about doing the laundry. You get into an argument with her, where past mistakes from the last 10 years of your life are brought back to life to reiterate her point about the laundry. You want to yell at her – at everyone so they will know- that you are having a bad day. A horrible day and that people should leave you alone.
One of those days.
This week’s writing challenge is about The Butterfly Effect. The Butterfly Effect is the theory that small changes in the present formulate events that will happen later on. For example, a butterfly flapping its wings can affect the course of a tornado. It is a theory that bridges into the concept that everything in this universe is connected. This concept is commonly believed in many aspects of religion and culture, like the idea of good karma or time-traveling (see Books: When You Reach Me).
Do I believe it?
I have often found myself asking, “What if?” What if I had said that differently or done that differently? Would the results have changed? Would people’s perceptions of me change? Would I change as a person?
What if I had woke up that morning and thought, “It’s going to be one of those days.”
One of those days.
You know, the day when your hair looks fine just from waking up and someone else made breakfast for you already. Then the rain stops when you are waiting for your bus and when you get on, the bus driver says “Good morning” and you say it back to him. It is the day your manager sends an email to the entire team to thank them for the hard work during last week’s mayhem. Alternatively, it is the day when you find yourself engaged in a tutorial discussion that actually taught you something. When you finally return home, you see your mom doing the laundry. You help her finish the chore. You get into a conversation with her about when you were a kid and helped her hang wet laundry on the clothesline in the backyard. You laugh with her and let her know that you are having a good day. A wonderful day and you want to tell her about everything that has happened.
I will probably never know specifically why or how a day turns out to be a “good day” or a “bad day”. What were the small changes that could have lead up to a “good” day?
What if I had went to bed earlier? What if I had picked out my clothes the day before? If I go back even more… what if I had discovered life passions early on as a child? Would I land a job where I make meaningful changes to the world? Would this make my day a good day? Would I be a happier person?
Sometimes one single small thing can change everything. Sometimes, a person can say something so short and simple but it fits right into this empty spot in your heart. Some kind words, a smile, a hug, or a pat on the back could very much save someone.
Most of the time, the little things in life do not seem to matter in the grand scope of things but they do add up. Good habits cultivate a positive change in a person. Make enough small positive changes in your life and for yourself, and you will see greater happiness or luck magically “find” its way to you.
Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time –affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil.
– Dean Koontz, From the Corner of His Eye
The Butterfly Effect