The Butterfly Effect

Nov 18, 2009 | Writing

No project I have ever done in my life has affected me so profoundly as the research I did a few years ago on The Butterfly Effect.  Working with the United States Air Force at the time, I was charged with finding “proof of the value of an individual life”.  At that time, the military as a whole was just discovering that suicide had become more prevalent within their ranks than with the civilian population as a whole.

The answer for which I was searching was way beyond encouragement.  What if, I thought, the average, ordinary person walking around was offered proof—convinced beyond the shadow of a doubt—that his life mattered immeasurably?  More than that, I wondered, is it possible to prove that every single action we take . . . also matters?  Forever?

The notion seemed preposterous (even to me) but with a library card in my pocket and Google as my friend, I set forth on what became the most important search of my life. 

Lorenzs Butterfly Tag

I began with a detailed investigation into a doctoral thesis written in 1963 by Edward Lorenz.  In it, he theorized that a butterfly might flap its wings, moving molecules of air into motion that in turn moved other molecules of air, eventually becoming able to shift weather patterns on the other side of the world.  Of course, in 1963, the theory was ridiculous.   And the New York Academy of Science said so.

It wasn’t until the mid 90’s when physicists, working in concert around the world, authenticated the Lorenz hypothesis.  Commonly called The Butterfly Effect, it has now been granted the status of a law.  Lorenz’s broad strokes on the evolution of chaos theory have now been named The Law Of Sensitive Dependence Upon Initial Conditions.

With that as a firm starting point, I found true stories such as Joshua Chamberlain and his improbable charge at Gettysburg.  I discovered connections between Norman Borlaug, a man credited with saving from famine over 2 billion people, and a little boy who had been mentored by George Washington Carver.  I uncovered stories about Carver himself, his childhood, and the incredible link a simple farmer’s action provided that made possible all of Norman Borlaug’s work—a hundred years into the future!

All this knowledge—this proof—affected me deeply.  I began to be more effective in my daily life as I understood just how important my actions were and how incredibly valuable every person is with whom I come in contact.




I use this proof and these stories almost every time I speak and have never ceased to be amazed at their impact on people.  

The Butterfly Effect Tag

That is why I am most excited to share with you my newest book.  The Butterfly Effect has been a long time in the making.It is a beautiful hardback, with full color graphics on every single one of its 109 pages.  My complete proof of just how much an individual life matters is written in simple, easy to understand detail.  The stories of Chamberlain and his charge, Borlaug, Carver, and the farmer—it is all here. 

In addition, there is a DVD included in the back of every book.  The DVD contains a three-minute movie about The Butterfly Effect and a ten-minute version of me presenting the story to a live audience!

Simple Truths Publishing has created and priced this book so that you can give it as a gift to every person on your Christmas list.  If there is anyone to whom you want to express gratefulness or someone who needs encouragement—someone who needs to hear, “You matter”—this is the gift for them!

I am very proud of this particular piece of work and very excited to finally be able to offer it to you!

Your friend,



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