Some people appear to sow discord, dishonesty or other unenviable things and never pay for it. Others who see this can experience spiritual, emotional and social crises, wondering how it is that bad people profit while good people suffer. If these crises are not addressed, they might cause a person to stop putting forth as much effort, or to cease engaging in good behaviors. Societies therefore try to provide answers about why bad people can prosper.
The Butterfly Effect
Some people push the idea of “you reap what you sow” one step further, emphasizing the “butterfly effect.” This term refers to the fact that the simple act of a butterfly moving its wings can have an enormous effect on the world by serving as a catalyst for other changes or events. Under this lens, people should be extra careful of what they say and do, because it’s not always clear how large the ramifications of their speech or behaviors are.