All this week, to celebrate reading Bellamy The Butterfly at Wisley Gardens, I will be posting different snippets about how butterflies inspire alliteration, poetry and metaphor. Today, I reflect on the Butterfly Effect…
The Butterfly Effect, originates from the idea that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America could affect the weather in Texas. This means the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part. This is a huge concept, and I wonder how this concept might be applied to the butterfly effect of giving.
I have included a link to a comprehensive article on the subject HERE about the act of giving and if a philanthropist’s dollar is ever enough. The article questions whether or not we need thousands of dollars to make a difference. Can the impact of giving only be measured in volume? And can a single, donated dollar create waves that will be felt around the world. Charities have developed many strategic ways of adding dollars to dollars and successful models could be followed by strategic philanthropists. Crowd-funding is a phenomenon (See Indiegogo) and is a great example of how we can support the Arts and new, exciting, socially aware businesses by combining resources.
In 2005 – 2007, I was involved in a Social Entrepeneur Ireland scheme for which I was one of the earliest recipients of an award. This award funded me to carry on doing the charity work I was already doing in a Galway town in Ireland ~ everything from bringing gas to the town ~ improving water supply and sewerage ~ to the initiation and implementation of a Women’s Equality Programme. Add to all of this the under-grounding of ugly overhead power cables ~ an eyesore, and blot on the skyline and the town square, and a deterrent to tourism. I put the project together and applied for, and won, EU funding to the tune of 250.000 euros. When the work was completed, the town square looked great and provided a new focal point for this old, Irish, previously neglected town. So, the small salary for my work, the funding to keep me going, which was donated by Social Entrepreneur Ireland, more than paid off for the overall good I was enabled to do for that community.
Backing talent is essential. We all need to feel needed and to express our talents. Sometimes, the most creative people fall through conventional employment cracks but when given some support can do the most good.
When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down.
One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.”
Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!”
I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I?
I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.”
Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray.
With love from Dr. Niamh,
Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com