Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

Andy Andrews, much sought after speaker and NY Times best-selling author has written a short inspirational story bases on the idea that “Every single thing you do matters. You have been created as one of a kind. You have been created in order to make a difference. You have within you the power to change the word.” The book, The Butterfly Effect, is an extremely short book telling the story about a decision that Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain made during the battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War. Andrews suggests that this single decision changed the outcome of the war and ultimately changed the world.

We could argue for hours about whether that statement is true (his notion is much too simple), or we could look at the bigger picture of what Andrews is suggesting. His premise is based on a hypothesis that Edward Lorenz presented in 1963 that a butterfly could flap its wings in China and start a hurricane on the other side of the planet. This theory is a part of the larger chaos theory and has some validity, but is much more complex than Andrews portrays in the book.

While saying all of this, the book was wonderful. Regardless of whether we all can have an impact in changing the world, Andrews reminds us that we can make a difference, which is something that we all need to hear. Our lives, individually and collectively do matter and we should all be seeking to leave a lasting legacy.

My biggest complaint with the book has to do with its size relative to the price. At $14.95 you are paying a lot for each word that Andrews writes. This is a book that you can read in 10 or 15 minutes, and is not one that I would ever see myself purchasing. Now that I have a copy, I am sure that I will share it with some people.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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