The Domino Effect

I recently watched a video that was shared on Facebook. It was about 8 minutes of dominos falling; that’s it. The theme of the dominos was games; so sports, board games, video games, basically all types of games. Each section was dedicated to a different game than the last. The sequence started with sports, then the old school games and then moved on to the newer generations of each. After each area fell, there would be a constructed contraption that would move a designated object to the next area of a game.

For example, one ball would hit another ball that would roll to land in a basket that swung to hit the next domino. It was much more elaborate than that; I’m not any kind of expert on games or dominos. But watching these tiny plastic colored rectangles fall onto each other, triggered my thinking to shift.

This was just like life.

Not the board game life, but really- real life.

Each person is born into this world with a chance to get the basic skills down for survival. This beginning is like the old school area of the dominos. As you learn and perform each skill, you become able to learn and perform the next. You become involved in making your own decisions like when to eat or when to sleep. You move on to decide when to defy someone in charge or when to do your homework. As you grow older you choose a career path, whether to be in a relationship and where you’d like to live.

These actions are like the dominos. Like the dominos, they are continuous and coexist all in one life; in every life. And you keep performing these actions with free will.

You make more decisions, push more balls in baskets and make it to the next area.

Each area has a theme in your life, based off of your decision making skills. Will this be a good phase? Will this phase be beyond your control and contain some bad circumstances? Will your theme continue to be consistent and resilient or will it be chaotic and combative?

Each phase moves at the same speed but may feel more chaotic, because there is more going on. There were a few parts in the video where dominos were stacked in these huge cubes. When they fell, they fell at the same rate but more fell at the same time; it was much louder and more dominos were collapsing at once. Sometimes life will be louder too.

Still, they kept falling. Watching the designs crumble was fascinating. It was the way each piece affected the next to keep going. There was no good or bad; just a transfer of energy. Life can be like that too. The he sun will still set and rise whether your decisions have created good or bad.

Relationships are both alike and unlike this. They can cease at one bad argument. Or they can continue. Both situations create an effect for what will happen next, like the dominos. Did you choose to fight with that person? Do they look at you differently now? Were you vulnerable with another person and do they look at you the same?

The way we treat others affects how others will treat us. One little push and the energy moves forward. Whatever it is that you say or do, to and for, another person will create a relationship or lack thereof that will continue to simply be.

I got creative (sarcasm) and googled the domino effect. I came across the butterfly effect. To be in effect is to currently be happening; thus a current verb form. To have happened already would be an affect; this would be the aftermath. Now the butterfly effect runs off of the idea that smaller movements create larger movements. The little butterfly twitches its wings up and down and then it can fly. These actions leading to a result are also like the domino effect but with a an emphasis on the result.

I found this to be interesting because life may be like dominos in that one phase leads into another, and one action brings the next. However, it’s even more like butterflies; great phenomenons created by millions of delicate movements.

Near the end of the video, you could hear a crowd counting down from 10. I could feel my pulse pick up; would all the dominos fall fast enough in time? After 7 minutes and 50 seconds of dominos, you become a little invested in the outcome.
Well, the timer ran out and there was still one last area of dominos to fall. And they fell. Everyone cheered. It counted as a part of the whole series of dominos falling even though the last section started right as the buzzer rang. This too is like life.

We’re on somewhat of a timer, but unfortunately, we can’t see it. We don’t get the luxury of a countdown. Our actions won’t occur faster or slower; they just will once we make our decisions. We don’t know if we’ll make sure that every domino falls but we’ll keep going. When our timer runs out, our dominos will keep falling until there are no more.  Will there be a bloodline to carry your name? Will you leave a legacy of charity or an infamous remanence behind? Will you treat the people you encounter daily with a little more gratitude or be quicker to apologize?

Our smallest most insignificant actions will affect someone, somewhere. They may leave small tracks or they may become monumental moments. Inevitably, life will go on and the energy we create will continue to stem from the decisions we make.  Everyday, the choice is ours to use that energy wisely before our timer too, eventually buzzes.

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