don’t want this to be taken the wrong way, but every so often
I see a bit of humor in scenarios when some type of event or situation
creates an action-reaction scenario that puts chaos and disbelief
on full display.
when I say I don’t want that idea to be taken the wrong way, it’s
mainly because… unfortunately… the events and scenarios are often
dramatic and potentially difficult experiences.
me, however, I’m not downplaying or not appreciating the importance
and significance. Instead, it’s just a slightly askew, just a
tad out of the box, just a one or two steps away from center way
of considering what’s happening. And, in doing so, specifically
giving thought to the unexpected.
of us have heard the term butterfly effect, right? In the simplest
of notions, the concept essentially is a way of saying that even
the smallest of changes, disruptions, ripples in the water, moving
of a butterfly’s wings, can create the most dynamic of changes
down the line.
specifically, consider a walk. Let’s say you possessed the ability
to walk in a perfectly straight line. Now, instead of pointing
directly from a to b at the start, we’re going to see you position
your movement mistakenly off by just one degree at the very first
step while then continuing along your perfectly straight line.
Move a foot or two, and you won’t be off-line by an inch. But
after a mile, even moving perfectly straight, you’d be dozens
of feet away from the line you intended to be on.
not dealing specifically with the butterfly effect as a theory
in this essay though, but it helps to have that in mind. Small
change… small adjustment… perhaps even unnoticed or not considered…
big results when encountered.
few years ago, my wife and I were playing cards and listening
to the radio. It was a battery-powered radio, and we had candles
lit in the room. Power was out as a result of a hurricane.
askew thoughts? I started hearing from friends that had children
at home they needed to entertain, so they were spending an hour
or two in the driveway, running a car so they could recharge the
batteries for their phones and tablets.
tad out of the box? Cell phone service had been knocked out completely.
If you didn’t have a landline to use, you were cut off. No calls
going out. No calls coming in. No social media. And on and on.
hurricane, and suddenly all those people wondering why anyone
would have a household phone or a battery-powered radio had been
knocked right off the horse. You know, so to speak.
rush right now for drive-in movie theaters. People going bonkers
about them being around and opening up. They can get out of the
house… roll up the car windows so they are socially distanced…
see a movie on a big screen. A huge relief, even if just a brief
respite, for cabin fever.
few years ago? Drive-ins were collapsing. Hard to find any. Main
reason in recent years has been the cost of conversion to digital
projectors. There have been many reasons over the years for drive-ins
declining and occasionally seeing some bursts of nostalgia. But
the past few weeks have seen discussions and celebrations unlike
anything in decades.
something else getting a bit of buzz lately?
are wearing masks. All people. All over. Masks and masks and masks.
of course leads to a completely different steps away from center
joke… based on a punchline where the most aggressive of protestors
these days are heading out without masks, saying you can’t make
them wear masks because it infringes on personal freedoms, and
yet the lack of masks makes them more easily recognizable. Insert
your joke here. Back to our essay…)
are wearing masks. And users of security cameras and recognition
software and such are having to scramble.
consequences. Slight changes. And suddenly, action-reaction.
me, it’s almost always the reaction that proves the most interesting.
It’s the second… and third… and later shoes that drop with the
strange thuds. Dropping just a degree from where intended, a few
miles from a butterfly.