Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life MattersThe book begins with a wonderful story of little known college professor, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, during the Civil War. This is a wonderful story that so many analogies can be made from. Andrews purports that it is his decision/actions that won the war over a 100 years ago.

The author then continues telling stories of historical figures who changed the world with their choices and actions. Each man providing another link in a chain of events that saved billions from starving.

The premise is that when a butterfly flaps its wings, there is a cause and effect relationship, eventually leading to hurricanes on the other side of the world. I liked the concept but it didn't gel for me. It seemed a little abstract and the links of the chains painted were tenuous, in my opinion. Chamberlain made a difficult decision and the outcome definitely contributed to the end of the Civil War. My logistical brain questions if this one event is the reason for the Union win.

So then it would made sense that I would buy into the theory that because of a certain chain of events and people, 4 or 5 men saved 2 billion from starving to death. Again, I can't quite see the strong connection of links. What I really wanted was for the author to be more concrete in describing what each man contributed. I guess I am not as fatalistic or idealistic to buy into the idea that every action and decision every person makes is supremely important.

Maybe this is not an appropriate platform to express, but I don't like the reverse implication. For instance, if George Washington Carver had not taken Henry Wallace on nature walks, 2 billion people would have died. I'd like to stay in my insular world of believing of free agency and gentle and forgiving God. The God I believe in would not allow 2 billion to die because Henry didn't take nature walks. He would have used someone else to impact Henry or use someone besides Henry.

3 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 comment:

CountessLaurie said...

I want to know what butterfly flapped its wings to send Earl up our way just in time for MY labor day weekend! That's one butterfly I want to meet....