The  butterfly effect  is a phenomenon which has evolved from the Chaos Theory. In metaphorical language, it means that a small change can give rise to a big tidal wave. That a  simple  movement like that of a flapping of a wing by a butterfly  gives wind to a hurricane somewhere else.

That rippling or butterfly effect “refers to the fact that each of us creates, often without our conscious intent or knowledge, concentric circles of influence that may affect others for years, even generations. That is, the effect we have on other people is in turn passed on to others, much as the ripples in a pond go on and on until they’re no longer visible but continuing at a nano level.” Can you imagine “the idea that we can leave something of ourselves beyond our knowing offers a potent answer to those who claim that meaninglessness inevitably flows from one’s infiniteness?”

We are all role models for one another and how we behave moment by moment sometimes powerfully influences the behavior of other people around us, especially other people who actively look to us for knowledge.


The answer, of course, is that people within it change. We have a long way to go before we can say we’ve achieved a truly just and humane society anywhere on planet Earth. But fortunately, we also each, therefore, have ample opportunity to leave meaningful parts of ourselves behind that can continue to exert positive effects. None of us should think that by focusing on raising our children well or being kind to those immediately around us that we’re only affecting our children or those immediately around us.

The problem is that our influence is so difficult to measure. Only rarely do we get feedback from others about how meaningfully we’ve influenced their lives for the better. And even less often how they then may have gone on, as a direct result of our influence, to influence the lives of others. But there’s little doubt this effect is real.

Not only that, the small kind word you leave with a stranger who you’ll never see again may not just spread out like ripples on a pond but may strike with the force of a tidal wave. We just never know. Sometimes the message our behavior imparts goes out to someone particularly receptive at that moment to being influenced by it. But even if the messages our behaviors send reach ears at the volume of a whisper, our influence never ends with only the person in front of us. Through the conduit they and others behind them with whom they interact represent, we all have the potential to contribute to shaping the future of our world. “The fight for world peace goes on with or without you. The question is, what kind of contribution do you want to make to it?”

Spread the Light

In our yoga teachings we learn from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra that the only person you can change is yourself; your practice is to create change from within by clearing your mind, connecting with your true self, and acting from a place of wisdom. But the beauty of this seemingly “selfish ” practice is that when you do your inner work, others around you, particularly those you are closest to, experience the positive effects of your work firsthand. Our loved ones are often inspired by the positive changes they see in us to start their own yoga practice. As you continue with your practice, you can inspire others on the path of yoga, creating a community of support and encouragement. What better way to create positive change in the world than through your own quiet and powerful example?

The Four Principles of Peace:
1 – Community – We come-in-unity, acknowledging we are in this together.
2 – Cooperation – Find common ground and work together.
3 – Non-Violence – Respect for life, do no harm.
4 – Witness – Peace is a living presence within all of us.

“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” ~Mitch Albom