Those Tiny “Insignificant” Acts

Yesterday I was talking a little about endings, so it is timely to also mention beginnings. And it is beginnings which fascinate me more. From a single act a whole event flow can propagate out into space-time. These points of causal origination give rise to dependent arising. These acts, acorns if you like, can become mighty oaks. A single act fertilized by the rich nutrients of drama can grow in proportion and quickly so. We are seeing this in the world of geo-politics where a spy poisoning has become a major international incident. That rush to score a few points, media points, has had and continues to have a major dependent arising, a whole event flow around the globe. There was the option of getting the facts first and then acting, or dramatization. The latter path was chosen and how far this goes remains to be seen.

Our choices have impacts.

Seemingly tiny insignificant acts can ripple out and impact the lives of many people. To give a personal example, a while back a few stem cells in my colon started to freak out. This, starting with only one single cell, grew into a malignant tumour. I went to the doctor and before long that little blighter of a cell had the NHS swing into action and some nice man with a sharp knife slicing open my belly. The tumour went off to a lab and someone looked at the shape of the cells, counted them and said T3. From a tiny single cell, a cancer grows. This is the not so nice version of an oak. Oaks are “nice”, cancer is not so nice.

Whether we acknowledge it or not any single act might become a “cancer” or an “oak”.

Trying to contain an insignificant act can also act as a nutrient. If one tries to “hush up” something, contain it, it gets more concentrated. Then it can achieve a kind of critical mass which allows a chain reaction to explode outwards. Secrecy is of course a form of drama and as a direct consequence of the spy-drama the whole Porton Down thing is in the spotlight. {As an aside I once interviewed for a job there and indeed was offered one, which I declined. I chose to do a post doc. in Manchester instead}.

The thing is that once the point of causal origination has been initiated, it can be very difficult to predict what arises, that arising can be chaotic and not in any way tractable to control. It can be like a wild-fire and all it needs is some wind, some breeze. Try as we might there are some things we cannot control we simply have to let them run their course. If we put the drama-amplifier on them, it spreads more widely.

So tiny insignificant acts can have far-reaching effects. We may think we can get away with “it” and it can come back to bite us in the ass. A small act of kindness can turn a whole life around. A hug for someone just when they need it most, can make all the difference. Maybe the hugged person comes back and says, “thanks”. They go onto to have a happy productive life instead of sinking into depression and suicide.

It is difficult to know which acts are significant and which not. The acts of the cancer variety can have a mild foreboding associated, the acts of the oak kind are much less obvious.

Having cued this up:

Has any tiny insignificant act of mine ever turned out to have a much wider significance?

What flavour did this act have?