June 1, 2008; 6:03 AmA small monarch butterfly glides across a plain, due north, towards two fields of flowers. On the left are daffodils, the right, lavender. The butterfly turns left, to suckle on the yellow flowers. It emits a small puff of air from its left wing, headed west, a zephyr, if you will. This puff floats across the field, gaining strength, joining with other gusts of wind. This puff of air heads clear across the United States, in bits and pieces, traveling to the Pacific Ocean. It goes across the vast body of water, rapidly growing stronger, and stronger, until it generates a terrible hurricane, the wrath of which destroys a small village on the coast of Guam. Many die.
June 1, 2008; 6:03 Am
A small monarch butterfly glides across a plain, due north, towards two fields of flowers. On the left are daffodils, the right, lavender. The butterfly turns right, to suckle on the purple flowers. After a moment, it suddenly dies. There is no puff of air. There is no zephyr. There is no hurricane. The people of the Guamanian village begin their day and live long, happy lives.
I've heard this concept many times before, as I'm sure we all have: the smallest occurrence can have the largest impact on one's life. The smallest puff of air can kill thousands.
My interpretation? Keep your eyes open. See all of your options. Never dismiss something as insignificant. In our short, fleeting lives, everything matters.