In 1972 meteorologist Edward Lorenz theorized that a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil could cause a tornado in Texas. What small action had a larger impact than you expected? How were you affected by the consequences?
One late Saturday afternoon, my friend Amelia and I were completely ravenous so I decided to order a pizza, not realizing how significantly that one pie could change not only the course of my day, but also my outlook on life. After shamelessly devouring the pizza to a point beyond satiation, we both heard and smelt my dad grilling burgers, cutting tomatoes and lettuce, and baking French fries. Normally this situation would have created a sort of excitement among us, but instead only made us a little less than enthused. Though at that point, it was too late to tell him that we had already eaten and regrettably could not eat his well-prepared meal. Instead we filled up our plates and told my parents that we wanted to eat outside. Trying not to look too much at the food, we contemplated on a plan to somehow get rid of all of the food without wasting it. After initially supposing we could let the dogs have a go at it, we decided to give it instead to someone who needed it a little more than two overweight dogs; the homeless. At this point we fell upon a slight predicament as to where and whom we could donate this warm meal. Living in the Denver metropolitan area, we were bound to find someone in need along the busy streets of downtown Denver. As with many other things, this was easier said than done. With one way streets, five street intersections, and enraged drivers, handing out the food took a lot more effort than I had previously imagined. After spotting a homeless man with his dog, I instantly felt he was a more than worthy contender. After handing him the meal, we drove away watching in the rear-view mirror as he blissfully took a bite of the hamburger while feeding some fries to his dog. About a half hour and several u-turns later, we handed off the second meal to a homeless man who wasn’t much older than us, most likely only in his early twenties. To my surprise, as I watched the man in the car mirrors as we drove away, I became overwhelmed with both joy and commiseration as I watched him delve into the sandwich as he had most probably not eaten for days. I was simply astounded by how such a seemingly small action had created such a large impact not only for the two homeless men, but also for me. It nearly made me feel ashamed for all the times I had eaten a meal with my family and not been more grateful that I didn’t have to worry about when the next time I would be able to eat would be. For following holiday seasons, I convinced my friends to help make twenty lunches that we could take and hand out all over Denver and show how such a little can go such a long way, all starting from that one pizza pie.