Because I knew you
I have been changed for good
—- WICKED—-FOR GOOD lyrics
It is several days after my birthday, and this time of year always puts me in a pensive mood. Good or bad, another year of my life has passed, and usually I analyze where I have been and where I am going. This year I seem to be focusing on who I have known and how they have changed me, because I realize that for good or bad, everyone has altered me in some way.
We come into this world as a blank slate, and if we are lucky our parents and siblings build our knowledge base and self esteem in our formative years. I have always believed I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to doing, because my parents always believed I could. I always understood that bad things can happen to good people because my sister Sharon was born severely mentally and physically handicapped, and so I have spent my life appreciating things that others take for granted. I spent my life knowing that someone would always have my back because my sister, Judy, is always there to catch me.
As we continue to travel along our paths we deal with friends and strangers who change us by their words and actions, and in turn we make a difference in more people’s lives than we ever imagined. Over four decades ago scientist Edward Lorenz described his idea of the butterfly effect during a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His idea was that if a butterfly flapped its wings in Brazil it could change the atmosphere enough to ultimately set off a tornado in Texas. We are all butterflies in our interactions with others, and what we say and do can have effects, for better or worse, that we might never be aware of as we travel through life.
There are the obvious interactions that changed your future, like the doctor who saved your life or the teacher who inspired you to follow your dreams, but it goes deeper than that. How about the teacher who inspired your doctor to follow his/her dreams or the parent who worked two jobs to send her/him to medical school? Think about the fact that if Mark Zuckerberg’s relatives had not been brave enough to immigrate from Germany, Austria and Poland to the welcoming shores of the United States, we might never have had a FaceBook page. So many things connect us to each other.
If I hadn’t celebrated my sixteenth birthday at a hootenanny I wouldn’t have gotten a crush on one of the performers, Arthur, who unfortunately had a girlfriend at the time. If I hadn’t have been dumped by a guy when I was eighteen, I wouldn’t have allowed my best friend, Mark, to set me up on a blind date. “Pick anyone out of my yearbook Bev, and you will have a date with him next Saturday.” If Mark wouldn’t have been so persuasive, Arthur would have never agreed to go on a blind date, but Mark was and Arthur did and...I was “changed for good.” That flap of a butterfly’s wing years ago resulted in the ultimate birth of Michael, who is now a psychologist and Beth, who is now a teacher. They both affect the lives of others every day and create their own ripples in the world around them.
If our decisions have such a profound effect on everything we touch, than aren’t we obligated to make those decisions wisely? If we can make a choice on how we treat another person, shouldn’t we make the kinder choice? If what we say may change a person for good, shouldn’t we say the thing that will change him/her for the better? Who knows...that flap of a butterfly’s wings might be the very thing that eventually comes back to change you too.
This week I read/reviewed a Cozy Mystery that was recommended to me and found myself immersed in the beauty of France. The 13th Fellow (#1The Havilah Gaie Series) by Tracy Whiting is a well written story that lets the reader do some traveling while never leaving home.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.