I have heard the term “Chaos Theory” tossed about. This has always struck me as a contradiction of terms. A theory is developed based upon predictable patterns perceived in that which is being studied. You can’t have a theory about something if there is no order to it. So the term “chaos theory” suggests that there is order in chaos. But if there is order in chaos, then it’s not chaos. Oy, my head hurts already.
As if I had nothing better to do, I started reading about chaos theory. From what I have gleaned, chaos theory is this: it is the belief that innumerable and imperceptible factors effect the outcome of situations. In other words there is no chaos. However, these factors are so vast and so tiny that there is no way we can discern them all; therefore, there is no way we can accurately predict anything. Everything appears chaotic, yet it is not.
I cannot wrap my mind around this.
To help you– and me– understand it a bit more, here is a definition of chaos theory that Dr. Malcom gives in the original Jurassic Park movie:
So why is an understanding of chaos theory important for you and I? I’ll tell you. Everything you and I do, no matter how seemingly small and insignificant, has the possibility of affecting the wider world. We may not see it or know it, but it does. If that is the case, then it would behoove us to behave ourselves. Dr. Malcolm in the clip above uses a classic example to explain chaos theory: a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazon and causes a tornado in Texas. To bring this a little closer to home, you don’t want to say or do something stupid that results in the destruction of your world. Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point: Watch what you say, watch what you do, because you don’t know how it is going to effect your little corner of the universe.
However, we can look at this from the opposite end: What if we each say or do something kind every day to at least two people. And those people do the same to two others. And so on. What do you think the global result would be? Yes, it is naive and simplistic to think that one act of goodness would bring world peace, but change has to start somewhere and somehow, so why not with us doing simply that?
May our random acts of kindness be like the flight of butterflies.
ljgloyd (c) 2016
Inspired by C is for Chaos at the Soul Food Cafe