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Hey, Butterfly, Flap Those Wings

Updated: Jan 2

You Matter in 2024 and Beyond

Photo Credit: Anurag Potai

When a butterfly flaps its wings, it can bring about dramatic changes in weather patterns far away.  This metaphorical concept, first modeled by MIT’s weather forecasting expert Ed Lorenz, is called the “butterfly effect” and it underscores the reality that a shift in the winds as small as that caused by a butterfly’s flutter can have an outsized impact on weather patterns to come.

I’ll share a personal story with you that illustrates how this holds true for humans as well:


When I was in my early 20s, I came home to Colorado after 2 years of teaching English in Japan. I returned to my mother’s home after having just lost a friend to an aneurysm while traveling together; leaving the first love of my life in Japan; and arriving to be with and support my mom through months of cancer treatment.  I hit a BIG mental low. 

On one especially low day, I received a call from a friend in Japan who had received a letter from me and was concerned about how I sounded.  She wasn’t a close friend, so it was a surprise that she had read between the lines and picked up the phone - this in the days when overseas calls were expensive and harder to make.

I credit her and that caring call with saving my caving spirit.  It gave me a new sense of meaning and energy while caring for my mom. It created my lasting belief that every interaction has the potential to have a ripple effect of unknown proportions, which has prompted me to bring greater self-awareness into how I connect with others.

One call. 

One flap of her wings.

I share this story not to steer you in one particular direction in 2024, but to remind you that you MATTER. 

Your purpose matters. 

Your actions matter. 

Your words matter. 

Your presence matters.

Even the smallest of actions can not only make an immediate difference but also set into motion something beyond your immediate view, whether it's toward:

Your personal or professional fulfillment

Connecting with a fellow human; or

Generating a bigger, better outcome

Here are just a few ways to honor the fact that you matter.....

Insert yourself.

Offer a kind word or gesture.

Give the benefit of the doubt.

Say it.

Don't say it.

Listen carefully.


Reach out.

Show up.

Step in.

Step out.

Create your vision.

Share your vision.

Take a step forward.

Go for it.

Keep going.

This year, I hope you will allow yourself moments — maybe one right now — to pause mid-flutter and remind yourself of how much power you wield with just the flap of your wings. And how much your everyday moments matter, and the other humans in them with you. Then consider:

How will you intentionally use this power, Butterfly?

How will you honor the fact that you matter?  

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