IMG_0419Edward Lorenz coined the term “the butterfly effect” when he tried to explain chaos theory and the consequences of  small changes on an overall system.  He rationed that in chaos, it was possible that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings weeks before could set forth a chain reaction of events that eventually leads to a hurricane somewhere else on the globe.  This effect is  difficult to quantify and effectively impossible to predict.  The very nature of chaos dictates that we should not be able to witness the butterfly effect in action, however we can easily discern its result.  I always believed that Lorenz was right, until tonight…

Tonight as  my family and  I attended the First Annual ReesSpecht Life Kindness Games at Tackan Elementary school in Nesconset NY I looked at all the people present and could not get over the fact that every single one of those people was there for one reason: Rees.  As I watched children playing, and parents proudly watching – all in the name of kindness and compassion,  I could not stop thinking about what they would have been doing on this evening had my boy not drowned in our pond in the hours preceding the arrival of hurricane Sandy.  It was in that moment that I realized I had just witnessed the opposite of the butterfly effect.  Instead of a terrible storm spawned from the act of something beautiful, I saw something beautiful spawned from the maw of a storm.  The very storm that robbed my family of my beautiful little boy has created a ripple effect that has helped so many others.

Watching all of those children play, and perform random acts of kindness in Rees’ name, ushered a revelation unto me that it is possible to turn a great negative into something positive.  Tonight I witnessed the hurricane effect:  The storm spawned the butterfly in this case – and it has only just begun to spread its wings and fly…

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4 thoughts on “The Hurricane effect:

  1. I read every article you write, but this one really got to me. Your son will live forever in all of our hearts. You truly are a beautiful writer and you inspire me and others. I wish I could take away your heartache for just a little while. Always praying for your family and always looking forward to what is next for ReesSpecht Life. Great Things are around the corner.

  2. Once again, tears well up in my eyes, this is so beautiful. I am profoundly touched by the story and actions that unfold, that started with your tragic loss. Over the last few months, some of my friends and family far and near have started to follow you. Rees’ reach expands, through each person he touches, through you. May God bless you and your family. I will keep it moving, too.

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