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Civilisation

The Butterfly Effect.

How many times have you heard someone say “Everything happens for a reason”? It doesn’t sound
very new to us. Everyone, at some point in their life says it to themselves or, at least, someone else does.
Maybe because it lightens the burden or the fear of incoming consequences. When you believe that
everything does happen for a reason you’re believing in what science calls, the Butterfly Effect.
It all started around 45 years ago with a simple question about a butterfly flapping its wings. The
point was to know if the flapping would affect the weather over a whole nation or even the nation
on the other side of the globe. The concept was developed by Professor Edward Lorenz.

The Butterfly Effect does not actually work due to a butterfly’s wings flapping but what Lorenz meant
was that small changes in a scenario lead to better or worse scenarios. For example, if your parents
wouldn’t have met, they would’ve never married and you would’ve never existed. It’s not at all a
complex concept but it exists in a very complex and infinite manner. It is all around us, everywhere.
When we say ‘everywhere’ it means literally everywhere. When we look at one scenario, there
might me millions of scenarios that lead to it and billion more which lead to the millions. It goes on
and on and on. The consequences may be positive or negative but there is a certainty of the event.
Small changes in your daily routine lead to you living everyday differently. Let us look at some
greater examples of butterfly effect.

World War l was one of worst events in mankind’s history, being the one which lead to worse events
like the World War ll, the tension in the middle east and even the emergence of terrorist groups like
ISIS and Taliban. But what if World War One never took place? The Archduke of Austria Franz
Ferdinand survived a bomb attack during his way to a meeting with the injured in a hospital. But
later on the same day his driver took a wrong turn and had to stall to take the car back. There a
Swedish assigned assassin took a chance and shot him and his wife. This led Austria to take arms
against Sweden, which caused Germany to declare war against Russia, causing nations like UK and
then US to get involved. If only, the driver hadn’t taken a wrong turn none of this would’ve
happened. Of course the war might have still taken place but certainly not in the same way. There
were a number of things that led to the war but this would’ve eliminated a couple of them. But the
small route changed caused a worldwide disturbance.

In 1918 when UK was fighting in France, Henry Tandey, a British Army soldier, came across an injured
German soldier and decided to spare his life. That injured soldier was Adolf Hitler and the rest is dark
history. All that happened could’ve been avoided by just one pull of the trigger. Kindness of one lead
to something devastating.

One small change can disturb the equilibrium causing an event that is unexpected but still destined.
Everything around us affects our daily routine and makes our life dynamic and full of surprises. The
Butterfly Effect is simple yet so fascinating. No matter how much we try to control our environment
there are infinite other events which can affect you to still fall into an unplanned situation. And in
other people’s lives you and your actions might be one of the things that affect their even though
you wouldn’t be aware of it.

So, if you think you don’t matter, I’d suggest you think again.

 

-Apoorv Mathur.

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