Beetle effect

| Nature and universe | 1 Comment

While I was taking a leisurely whizz early this afternoon, I was just minding my own business. I was standing there craning my neck so I could look out of the window above which was slightly ajar. When I heard a slight and quick tap-and-snap on the tiled wall to my left, I awoke ever so slightly from my reverie of whizzing. That quick tap sounded like a small pebble had been thrown in through the open window above me, coming right out of some dream world, and this tiniest object of objects had ricocheted twice before landing in the toilet bowl water right in front of me.

The ripples were spreading outward, and I bent down to look.

Watch out for the beetle effect...Upon closer inspection, I saw that the blackish pebble was not made of stone at all. It was floating. According to the laws of physics, a pebble would sink and disappear. And it hadn't. My mind started working and thinking and figuring things out, slowly but surely. Wait one minute! The thing was moving around slowly. There was a set of six tiny legs flapping around desperately in an attempt to turn the tiny pebble back over again. No it was not a pebble, it was an insect, a beetle kind of thing. A beetle. The little beetle had no hope in hell, and I could have flushed the toilet and put it out of its misery.

The natural thing to do, survival of the fittest, or not?

I decided that it was not the time for survival of the fittest nonsense, for something greater and more historical was in the making. Via this fluke of circumstance, nature had purposely challenged me. React you fool and do something, or else! So that is what I did. I ripped off a small section of toilet paper, reached down into the bowl, and lifted this tiny wonderful creature up and out of the ocean of water that was just about to swallow him up. Swallow him up forever and forever. And no one would have ever noticed. Except me, of course.

Who did this giant being think he was saving an innocent insect-soul for no reason at all? It was the beetle effect, that's what it was, the beetle effect. And it was about to make the biggest difference in the world.

Confused and wet and shaking all over, this beetle recovered very quickly indeed. Like nothing had ever happened in the first place. What had I done? The beetle was ready to jump off this throne of tissue right back into the ocean I had saved him from, but I wadded my fist shut to save him (again). I raised my hand to reach the window opening, shook the piece of tissue outside the window, opened my hand. Off he went, that little wonderful crazy beetle, the insect-soul.

I had saved his life, and the beetle would continue to do something. Something that he would have never been able to do had I not been awakened by nature's calling, challenging me to do something out of the ordinary. This might seem crazy, but it was not. That something the beetle was about to do would lead to something else and then to something else, on and on for who knows how long. The beetle effect, all over again. While not the first, I had made my mark within that sliver of time, and I had changed fate, all my own. Some day that new current of time would glance off of another glint of time and would come back to thank me with even more goodness.

Something small had changed and it would lead to something big, bigger and bigger.

[Note: The "Butterfly Effect" is the propensity of a system to be sensitive to initial conditions. Such systems over time become unpredictable, this idea gave rise to the notion of a butterfly flapping it's wings in one area of the world, causing a tornado or some such weather event to occur in another remote area of the world.]

1 Comment

You have such great style and elegant writing. Great post.

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This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

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Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

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