February 18, 2011
One of the themes of the show that evening was how changing even one small event could set off a chain reaction that would affect people you've never met. Something so simple as catching a firefly when you weren't supposed to could cause someone's death in another location. How? Because that firefly never flew down the street and wasn't there for a little girl to catch, causing her to continue looking for fireflies long after she should have been home. Her father became worried, and went in search of her in his car, eventually hitting and killing an innocent pedestrian. And all this happened because you caught a firefly you weren't supposed to catch.
Every day we make decisions that lead us in one direction or another, and often we wonder... What if I had taken the other path? What if I turned left instead of right? What if? What if?
Making one choice changes not only our lives, but the lives of so many others, people we don't even know and likely will never meet. It's mind-boggling.
Last week I caught a firefly. I made what I thought was a simple blog post on a whim, and thought it would be like any other; a few of my friends and my mom would read it, maybe a couple of strangers from my Twitterverse. But within eighteen hours of posting it, something happened. It was forwarded to friends of friends and parties were formed. People decided to change what they were doing on February 13 and possibly February 14, based on something I did without much thought. It amazed me. I don't know if I was supposed to catch that firefly last week, but it seems so to me. I haven't heard of any bad that has come from it, but I have thought about what if I hadn't posted it. How many people wouldn't have gotten together with friends that weekend and laughed?
Sometimes we're supposed to catch the firefly and sometimes not. There is no way to know which is the right decision, we simply have to follow our instincts and know that what we're doing is right. Today all I know is that I'm glad I caught that firefly last week. I'm glad I posted a crazy little nothing about St. Upid on whim.