In physics, the butterfly effect is the ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’, wherein a small change in one part of a complex system can produce large effects in the long-term behavior of the system. The theory, coined by Norton Lorenz, pioneer of chaos theory, is that a butterfly that flaps its wings in Tokyo can subtly affect New York, or make a small change in the initial condition that significantly shifts the weather pattern in Texas. Like the domino effect, a small change in the initial condition of the system can create a large-scale alteration of events down the road.
Margaret Meade described the same effect:
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Around the world, people have become aware of the fact that solutions to the ecological and poverty crises will not necessarily come through governments or corporations. What may be less apparent is that we cannot solve the poverty crisis without solving the ecological crisis, and the preservation of biodiversity is nearly impossible in poverty-stricken areas due to habitat loss, resource scarcity and undue pressure on the remaining biodiversity. The poverty and ecological crises are one. Understanding this is the basis of strategies to restore ecological balance and resource abundance.
Solutions will come from the intelligence, innovation, collaboration and caring of individuals, communities and their organizations. The good news is that now there are streams of indigenous wisdom interfacing with high tech innovation and creative financing through global communication to play increasingly significant parts in developing enduring ecological solutions. Biomimicry (learning from and emulating nature’s solutions) and increasing spirituality are informing and activating deeper dimensions of human potential. Technology provides an infinite well of possibilities, and instant global information and communication weaves the threads together.
The truth is there is infinite potential, infinite energy and we have an infinite capacity to create a future that is even better than we can imagine. The only limitation is one of vision and imagination. One vision can lead to a globally important innovation. It’s the butterfly effect.
There is a great awakening happening. Individuals are becoming aware of their thoughts, words and actions and beginning to understand their direct effects on health, relationships and the living systems upon which we all depend. Constant worry, fear and negative thoughts lead to disease down the road. Conscious awareness and positive self talk leads to success and health in the future. It’s the butterfly effect.
People are voting with their dollars. People are investing more of their money in local farmer’s markets, products, banks and services. Children are learning ecology and families are reusing, recycling, and reinventing their purchasing power. It makes a difference as one pulls the plug from supporting unsustainable foods and products to local sustainable smart products.
We direct our energy in the right direction when we feel our connection to the whole of life, and remember that what we do affects all that is. That’s Ubuntu. Our capacities to repair our living environment extend as far as the limits of our consciousness, imagination and confidence. When the small story of one’s life is well lived, the great story of which one is a part expands and evolves. It’s the butterfly effect.
HONORED BY LEGENDARY CONSERVATIONIST, E. O. WILSON
Even as she has many heroes, Calley’s leading hero has long been renowned 88-year-old biologist, conservationist, Pulitzer Prize winning author, and father of biodiversity, Edward O. Wilson. Had you asked Calley, “Who is the one person with whom you would most like to have dinner?”, her answer would have been instantaneous ~ E. O. Wilson. Calley had studied his work on biodiversity and based her paintings upon his work. Her work directly reflects his.
She knew if any scientist would recognize the creative power of this work, it would be him. To that end, she enthusiastically tried contacting him repeatedly over six years. Her dream was to have him see, appreciate, and comment, and, when least expected, the miracle happened!
When Calley was selected as the featured artist for the World Conservation Congress in 2016, she and her assistant worked seven days a week from morning til night for four months to complete the painting borders.
There wasn’t a free moment to look at the schedule, so Calley was overjoyed to find out that E. O. Wilson would open the congress, and speak several times. She met him four times during the congress. After the opening session, Calley dashed to the front row just as the person sitting next to Professor Wilson left. Their conversation opened up a line of personal communication on the importance of art to “exponentially expand the reach of this knowledge.”
A treasured honor, E. O. Wilson asked Calley if he could share a RAMA painting for the frontispiece of his new book: The Origins of Creativity. He chose the one Calley recommended, and most respectfully and enthusiastically asked to change the title to THE REALITY UNSEEN…a much more appropriate name for the work of art, which depicts 52 animals in gold leaving the Earth ~ a reality few see or understand.