I’ll pretend for a minute that I’m in a big room where all the things I wish to have are neatly lined up. There are other people in this dream come true room. As I can tell from their grins and awestruck eyes, they are just as excited and surprised as I am to see everything that could possibly make life great lined up perfectly in one room.
I look to my left, and I see stacks of envelopes. I look closely and make out the words on some of them: winning lotto number, life like Angeline Jolie’s, scholarship at Harvard University, spiritual balance, lifetime supply of Ferrero Rocher.
I gaze around the room again, laugh, and say out loud, “Wow! Everything I want is literally within my reach!”
A bell rings after a few seconds, and almost immediately, people start to grab things. I see a brand new treadmill not far from where I’m standing, and like a cheetah, I run towards it. I’m inches away from it now — my hands ready to put a mark on it and my mouth ready to yell at the other cheetahs, “This treadmill is mine!”
But to my surprise, a sort of invisible block stops my hungry fingers from touching the treadmill. And much to my disgust, a girl who looks just about my age throws herself at it and shouts to no one in particular, “Mine!”
I look around the room. Almost everything is gone and taken. I see a young boy pick up what seems like the last untouched envelope. He jumps to victory and heads out the door like a real champion.
A bell rings again, a probable sign that it’s all over. I leave the room empty-handed, brokenhearted, and jealous.
Scenes like this one are, I think, pretty much a drama and a nightmare. A drama queen is someone who acts as if things are worse than they really are. In almost every person, there’s a little drama queen. Some passionately display their drama queen ways, while others suppress or hide these ways. I’m in between the two extremes. On some days, for example, I make a big fuss over not getting what I want. On other days, I go to the other side of the fence and pretend to keep my calm.
Dramas get a little too out of hand sometimes, so much so that they become nightmares. My short narration about the so-called dream come true room shows this. To see in my sleeping and waking hours whatever or whoever left me empty-handed, brokenhearted, and jealous would be one of the worst nightmares that could happen to me.
One of the cold hard facts that many of us find hard to take and be at peace with is that we, put simply, can’t have it all — some people are showered with what we want but don’t or can’t have. I know this is a petty problem, if not a pseudo one, for those who have mastered the art of being comfortable and happy with oneself: skin, bones, and all. People who have found their inner self have mastered this art. They are neither drama queens nor pretenders. I have such high respect for them because, first, they are a handful in an age where competition is a prime motivation and where another person’s life or lifestyle is a top benchmark. Second, they exude that beautiful, fresh aura of perfect confidence, quiet resignation, and genuine satisfaction. Third, this aura is their very persona.
It’s very hard to be like these people. I think this is one reason why I consider them a superhuman bunch. I sometimes wonder how they do it — how they find it ridiculous to compete with others, how they never equate the latest and the trendiest with the best and the brightest, or how they walk with their head held high day in and day out.
I wonder how or why the wild cheetah never possessed their soul and took control of their body. Before I know it, a theory pops in mind and a Eureka moment gets to me.
I came across Ray Bradbury’s short story, A Sound of Thunder, a couple of weeks ago. It was a great read because it touched on time travelling, a topic that never fails to amaze me.
In the story, three hunters and two Safari heads go back in time to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex, otherwise called The Tyrant Lizard. Mr. Travis, the leader of the group, tells Eckels (a first timer in time travelling) not to step out of the Path or the anti-gravity metal that hovers inches above land. Time Safari, Inc. built the Path, Mr. Travis explains, so that hunters from the future don’t change the “world of the past in any way” or in a way not sanctioned by the government. Changing the past would alter the future. To illustrate this, Mr. Travis makes use of the butterfly effect:
“…The stomp of your foot, on one mouse, could start an earthquake, the effects of which could shake our earth and destinies down through Time, to their very foundations…so until we do know for certain whether our messing around in Time can make a big roar or a little rustle in history, we’re being careful.”
In the course of the hunters’ mission, Eckels sees the dinosaur and goes hysterical. He does not help the others kill the T-Rex, and he steps off the Path. This makes Mr. Travis very angry, and he even threatens to leave behind the terrified Eckels.
Mr. Travis orders Eckels to retrieve the bullets from the dinosaur’s dead body, and after this, all hunters — including Eckels — hop on the time machine and go back to the future (or where they came from). Upon arriving in the year 2055, Eckels notices something off, something different. He learns that the way English words are spelled changed. He starts to realize the gravity of his seemingly little mistake, and as if things couldn’t get any worse, he sees a dead butterfly on the sole of his boot. It is a butterfly he accidentally stepped on and killed in another era. He later discovers that Keith lost the presidential election to Deutscher, a dictator.
What exactly does this story have to do with the superhuman bunch, or the people who get less credit than they deserve? This is my theory: They knowingly or unknowingly apply the tenets of the butterfly effect in their lives. And in so doing, they are able to always see greatness in the littlest things. Every decision matters and every move counts. This is why they don’t give in to rash and idiotic decisions. For the superhumans, every bit of their everything is influential, and they don’t have to be the president of a country, the superstar of the decade, or the writer of the best-selling novel to believe in this.
I might be wrong in saying that people who are comfortable in their own skin take the butterfly effect to heart. But even if I’m wrong, the belief that the smallest of things can lead to huge consequences is one of the perfect solutions for people like me, or people whose cheetah self refuses to die.
There will come a time when I will fully understand that I’m a drop of water in the ocean. The ripples I create will amount to something I can lose count of. The pool of these ripples will in turn make a gigantic and beautiful wave — somewhere, somehow, someday.
It will be the butterfly effect at its finest.