the chaotic world

Isaac - Santa Rosa, California
Entered on December 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in chaos. Perhaps better stated as, I believe in the chaotic nature of our universe. In a world where the population numbers for the human species reach somewhere around six billion, I think the possibilities are endless. Even at the atomic level there is chaos. The electrons in my body are operating in “chaotic” ways. This chaos alongside the energetic human imagination allows for anything to happen. While it’s nice and comforting to have a set path on which I listlessly glide though life, I feel that the possibility of chaos has to be acknowledged, that potential needs to be reached for. After all “variety is the spice of life.”

I first encountered this concept when I was riding my bike though Golden Gate Park one day and got a flat tire. Getting stuck in the park on a Sunday isn’t the worst thing that has ever happened to me, but i had somewhere i wanted to be. I felt like I needed to keep pushing myself to get there, almost as if without me the world would suddenly end. Finally, after struggling with the flat for a half hour, I sat down and thought about why I Felt I needed to rush around so much. I watched the other people spending that weekend in the park and realized that some things are just out of our control. Humans work at trying to control the world around them, and yet without chaos, some of the most wonderful things in life couldn’t happen. No falling in love at first sight, no finding 20 dollars in the street, no “lucky” parking spots. Some of the more horrible things wouldn’t happen either. Tire blow outs, virus epidemics, and losing at a game of cards, all these could be attributed to the chaotic nature of the world. But it’s these events that create our lives, both the good and the bad. Without challenges to overcome there will be no change, without drama there is no development, and without chaos life would just slide into entropy, (set of processes that slowly just breakdown).

Each and every person that passed by me that day seemed to ignore the beauty that was around them, rushing from one place to another, little ants, all working towards some greater goal, but with no time for deviation from the set task. Some things happen and we can’t do anything about them, like my flat tire. I think it’s better to accept these chaotic happenings. Perhaps not to the point of embracing them, but understanding that sometimes things just happen that we have no control over. So, just like that day on the bike, instead of shutting out the world around me, I try and embrace it. I might never know what’s coming next but I know that no matter what it’s going to be something new.