As we go around living our lives, sometimes it is hard to figure out what and why we are doing something, and whether there is any use to what we are doing. As human beings we are geared to aspire that our actions impact society and that is what gives meaning to our lives. But in the hustle and bustle of living, it can be easy to lose track and just exist.
So it is important to remind ourselves that we matter. What we do matters. We can never really predict where and how it will. But it can. And mostly it does!
We all have heard of the Butterfly Effect. It is the concept that small causes can have large effects. Although a somewhat controversial theory that is yet to be conclusively decided, one has many experiences in life where seemingly small actions have had unpredictable and massive impact.
We have all heard of Mahatma Gandhi being thrown out of the train in South Africa. He had gone to South Africa to represent a wealthy merchant Dada Abdulla and was travelling in a train from Durban to Pretoria. Although holding a first class ticket, when a white man complained of his presence, he was asked to move to the van compartment at the end of the train. When Gandhiji refused, he was thrown out of the train at Maritzberg station and spent the night shivering in the waiting room. This incident has assumed legendary status as the one that started the journey of Barrister M.K. Gandhi into becoming the face of the freedom struggle in India and one of the most revered icons of the world today.
Now would the train conductor who threw someone he just saw as a filthy inconsequential black man out of the train, like he routinely did, have ever imagined what he has started? That he had just provided the stimulus out of which would be born the practice of non-violent Satyagraha? But somewhere he did. Gandhiji described that incident as one of the most creative experiences of his life, and from that moment onwards decided he would not accept injustice as a part of the natural order in South Africa, and later on he applied the same principle in India.
Now this might be a negative incident that fortunately led to a positive transformation of momentous significance. But what it proves is we need to be cognisant that our actions have repercussions with far reaching effects. Remember this and make everything we do count in the right way. We might not know which exact bit of what we do will make what kind of a difference. But we can strive to ensure that our actions do have a positive effect when they can!