The Butterfly Effect

Q- Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.


Summer burns on my back as I watch her head break the surface of the water and sink in. Her hands immediately thrash around for support but can only close upon the cool liquid. Her hair floats on the surface like brown seaweed. Laughing, I stretch out my hands and pull her out. As she splutters and gasps on the marble floor, I run inside to narrate to my mom how my three year old sister just toppled into a pail.

Seven summers after, I stare at what the screen says. “Drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury-related death among children of the age of 1 to 4…Unfortunately, about 20 children die in the U.S. every year because they drown in buckets.” I recall back to that day. My mom and my grandmother come running out, horrified, the door banging. They pick up the shrieking child in a towel while I stand to one side, wondering what all the fuss is about. Later, over the evening tea, they recall the incident of how a boy in the neighborhood spent a few seconds too long in a bucket he fell. He was paralyzed. The water had damaged his head, permanently.

I think of how I was only 9 and how it was mere play, a childish adventure. I had pulled her back because she was upside down, a bit uncomfortable, nothing more. But the pull...

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