I don’t think I’ve ever come across a book for adults and one for children that contained basically the same information and was told in a way that was entertaining, educational and inspiring for both groups. That has changed. I recently read two books by the New York Times Bestselling Author Andy Andrews that fit the bill: The Butterfly Effect: How Your Life Matters and The Boy Who Changed the World.
I happened to read The Butterfly Effect first. In fact, it’s a book I’d forgotten I received for review. The theory of the butterfly effect, which was introduced in 1963 by Edward Lorenz to the New York Academy of Science, states that when a butterfly flaps its wings and sets molecules of air in motion, which move other molecules, then more molecules of air it will ultimately start a hurricane on the other side of the planet. Lorenz was laughed at and the theory because somewhat of a science fiction myth.
But, what Andrews points out is that the butterfly effect is real and he uses historic moments and figures to illustrate his point in both books. Words can not do justice to how Andrews tells the stories. From an adult standpoint it is information we already know or have heard somewhere, but not in this manner. As I read The Butterfly Effect I experienced chills as the story went on. The small book is only 109 pages in length and takes about 15 minutes to read, but it is compelling and inspiring. I actually began to believe that the things that I do in my life can have a huge impact on things in the future. A huge positive impact.
I doubted whether The Boy Who Changed the World would have the same effect on me, let alone on my children. But boy was I wrong. Two nights ago, I read the children’s version, which I gave to Andre on his birthday, to my children (ages 7, 5 and 3) and they listened closely to what I read. The look on their faces was one of amazement and wonder.
When I finished reading the children’s book, which is a softer version of one of the stories from the adult version, my son said, “I want to change the world.”
My 5-year-old daughter agreed. I said, “You can.”
He said, “But I’m not big; I can’t make anything.”
‘You don’t have to be big. You can be like Norman in the book. And remember the boy who made the crutch for his friend? It was just something small. You just have to think of something that you can do for someone else.’ That’s a paraphrase of my motherly advice.
I did clearly tell the children that they can change the world and they can do anything they set their minds to. Don’t worry about it; just keep that in their mind to think about.
In reading that book to them, as well as absorbing the butterfly effect, I think I have in essence caused a shift in the future. The molecules have moved… the molecules are my children. Regardless of what I do with my own life, I’ve inspired them – with the help of Andy Andrews – to think outside of their small world.
I’ll look for opportunities to help them with their world-changing pursuits, direct them to things that interest them and support their passions. Right now I can’t think of a better way to help change the world.
Have you read either of these books?
Disclosure: I received copies of both of the above books free of charge to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. Any opinions expressed here are my own. For more information review my complete policy.