What goes around comes around

If a butterfly flaps its wings in Tokyo, it can initiate a hurricane in New York. Imagine a cashier has been having an awful day of physical discomfort and verbal abuse, and the last customer is rude. She goes home, shout at her children who just wanted love and attention, fights with her husband who may be equally stressed and irritable. The collective family tension builds up further in the pressure cooker of homework, baths and dinner. The day ends with each member going into a simmering pot of restless sleep. Each of these family members goes into their next day tired, irritable and resentful, feeling that life is just one long battle to be fought. The children fight with peers and teachers, the parents with their colleagues. Some of this tension plays out in shopping lines and in fights with cashiers. Slowly the storm builds and everybody is affected by the wave. The wave gets intensified on the roads, in call centres, in restaurants, hospitals and security points where even those appointed to help and protect us start to seem or get treated like the enemy. Now consider those exceptional individuals who decide to be nice in the face of tension, tactful and polite in the face of abrasiveness, caring and affirming in the face of the shamming or abuse of another.    This is the person who reaches out to that cahier, acknowledges her humanity, makes her feel valued and appreciated. The cashier then goes home and is friendly in the taxi, soothing the other frazzled commuters. The ride becomes enjoyable even soothing.  She arrives home and is affectionate and patient with her children. She is pleasant to her husband who drops his tension and returns the warmth. This family have a good pleasant dinner together, feel united and fortified. They enjoy good restful sleep, feeling secure and comfortable in the world. They each go into their next day and become those enlightened witnesses who reach out to others, seeing, touching and affirming the humanity of the people they encounter. These are the people that have the power to stop hurricanes with butterfly wings.

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