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The Butterfly Effect

Posted: August 19, 2020

By Jill Chalsty, Founder of Overcoming Obstacles


It may be difficult to appreciate how much of a difference good deeds and a life skills education make in individual lives, communities, and our world. You may have heard of the concept known as “the butterfly effect.” The idea is even something as seemingly insignificant as the beating of a butterfly’s wings affects events going into the future. A different way of thinking about this is everything affects everything else. All actions and moments matter.

Over the years, Overcoming Obstacles has had the privilege of seeing students who have been taught our curriculum share their stories. Gus, who went from a rough life in one of the toughest parts of Los Angeles, to having a successful career and being a husband and father. Rossana went from struggling in school in Jersey City to teaching art and life skills as a K-8 educator. And, Orayne who went from homelessness to graduating with his master’s degree in Social Work and a career at the District Attorney’s office in New York City. Each of these young people dramatically changed their own life for the better once they were given a life skills education. And the positive impact they are having on countless others is immeasurable. A true butterfly effect!

Imagine two different worlds. The first is one in which students are not taught life skills. Here we see people unable to communicate their thoughts and feelings constructively, people who are unable to set and achieve goals, people who are unable to respect others or themselves, make responsible decisions, or resolve arguments peacefully. Now, imagine a world where all students are given a life skills education. Instead of being struck by the inability to communicate, the inability to resolve conflicts, set and achieve goals, they learn the skills for success and create a positive future for themselves and all of us.

We have the tools needed to give every young person a life skills education – an award-winning and free K-12 curriculum. Let’s work together to create a “butterfly effect” of positive change for all students.

You can download the entire Overcoming Obstacles K-12 curriculum by logging in to your account. If you don’t yet have one, registering is fast, easy, and free—now and forever. Click here to get started. And if you think other educators would find Overcoming Obstacles’ lessons beneficial for their students, please share this blog with them.