Friday, June 25, 2010

Every single action has a butterfly effect

Just in case you’re wondering, the title of this post isn’t a fact, but it is a rule that you may want to live by. Regarding people’s actions, it’s amazing to see how many people simply don’t take into account the repercussions of any of their actions. I’m not talking about pulling the trigger of a gun, robbing a bank or something as terrible as throwing a grenade at a gas station. I’m talking about the little things in life that people take for granted and simply choose to ignore rather than address.

If you want simple tangible examples, you don’t have to go very far. Just get in your car and you’ll see what I mean. People texting and driving, talking while going in reverse in their car, drinking hot coffee, picking their nose or screaming at a member of their family. These are just five examples I came up with in less than four seconds so imagine how many things you can think of if you really put your mind into it.

“Ok, so what’s the big deal with any of those examples?” you may ask. Ok, let’s take each one, analyze and see possible outcomes.

1. Texting and driving: it’s stupid, it’s retarded and yet a lot of us do it because we live in the age of multitasking. Call it ego or being too bored with putting your entire attention span to driving, but people text and drive and here are some possibilities that stem from doing this act. First one, you can crash. You send a text while driving, don’t see that the car in front of you stopped and you hit it. Pretty simple and quite common. Thing is if it’s an angry text or a sexy one, odds are that your body reacts in certain non verbal ways that you don’t necessarily take into account while clicking away. Namely that you tense up and possibly press on the accelerator more than you have to. Second off, since your brain is divided, you’re not all there when writing the message so you may send the wrong message while writing since you’re not all in it. Then there’s typos and it can be something simple, or you may call the person by another name (not making that one up and that little mistake almost cost the relationship because the whole infidelity thing came into play). So that’s you, but what if you texting reminds someone that they have to text someone else? Great. Now we have two multitaskers adding blades to their juggling set. Ok so what if someone who’s not texting sees this? They may not care, but they might get infuriated which takes their attention from the car in front and voila, another crash in record time. And this is just thinking for less than two minutes about this example.

2. Talking while going in reverse in your car. Yet again we have a case of an overachieving multitasker. In case you’re wondering, I’m not even referring to people who drive and talk. I’m talking about the people who get into the car and insist on calling someone up while putting the car in reverse. To sum it up simply, your visibility will be shot, you won’t take into account all of your surroundings, you can crash and what’s more, there’s 32% probability you’ll drop your phone and your call. By the way, holding the phone with your shoulder and head prompts unwanted button presses etc. As if that weren’t enough, you are probably setting yourself up for a nice case of torticollis AKA wry neck. Fun times.

3. So what about drinking hot coffee while driving? Two words for you: burnt genitals.

4. And picking your nose? Well unless you think it’s sexy to let people know you keep a collection of nose nuggets in the arm rest of your car, I’d choose the option of waiting for home, unless it’s mandatory that you pick that sucker.

5. As for screaming to your family, well maybe it’s better you do that so people know who lurks behind the façade.

The point is that I just took five casual and everyday occurrences and showed that each one has its own set of repercussions. Now think of every time you hit your keyboard, every time you call someone an asshole, every time you spit gum on the sidewalk or street, that can you tossed on the floor, that call you didn’t make, that vote you didn’t cast and you realize that every single one of our actions has repercussions of varying degrees and some results will probably surprise you since you didn’t think what you did mattered. After all, it’s just one in six billion right? Well that’s exactly the attitude that leads to complacency, mediocrity, and disharmony.

So next time you are about to do something that doesn’t matter, think twice because it does matter and you can make a difference if you only give a damn.

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