One of the most important lessons we have all learned as a result of the pandemic is how a single action can have adverse consequences on those around us. A single act of one person taking the initiative to feed one household with grocery shopping affected by job loss has seen hundreds of people across the country lending a helping hand to their fellow countrymen.
And while we have all been forced to introspect and examine the purpose of our lives. Understanding our Butterfly Effect can help realign our purpose. A meaningful life and career is not based on how grand our actions are; our worth won’t be pegged on whether or not we singlehandedly solved world hunger or found the cure to COVID-19. What instead we need to do is find meaning in our everyday tasks. What if I told you a kind smile offered to a stranger or starting that project you are yet to start can change the world?
Well, it is true. You may not see the effect one second later or ever at all for that matter, but what I do know is that for every kind deed offered into the world, a ripple effect will occur in the lives of those around us. The future of our world will take everyone seeing not only their potential to shape the lives of those in our community but most importantly for us to acknowledge and value the potential we have within us.
I often wonder if St. Josemaria was aware of what his butterfly effect would be. If he knew in 1928 just how influential his call to holiness would be? One of my favorite quotes of his says, “Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each one of you to discover it”. Even the most mundane of tasks that we undertake, from spreading our beds in the morning, are opportunities for us to grow in our love for God and one another.
The parable of the mustard seed talks about how the smallest seed grew into a large tree and the birds of the air nested in them. This can be viewed from the vantage point of having our actions little mustard seeds we want to plant in our garden. And we sow seeds of kindness, industriousness, perseverance among others. and just like a garden, we care for our seedlings, taking special care to ensure our seedlings are not choked in the floods of selfishness and pride or scorched by the sun of greed, but instead that they are well nurtured with the right amount of water and protected from the harsh heat. And this we do by constantly reviewing our actions, rectifying bad behaviour, and ensuring that we are better tomorrow than we were yesterday. And we will blossom into a mustard tree, and the seeds of our actions will bear other good seeds, and one good action will lead to another and another.
Remember as you go about your day, that you do not have to be a superhero to change the world. The little acts of kindness that you show those around you make you a hero.
Written by Maria Gitau, a Bsc. in Informatics and Computer Science student.