Sir Isaac Newton (born in 1642) was probably the most renowned English scientist of all time, with an immense body of work and influence that continues more than three centuries after his life on earth. No, he wasn’t born in Hampshire or Dorset but in Lincolnshire. He is, however, buried at Westminster Abbey.
Newton’s three laws of motion describe the relationship between an object and the forces that act upon it, and its motion in response to the forces. I’m not into mathematics and have no interest in equations. It’s just fascinating to me how those laws impact not only objects from the hard sciences but also human behavior.
The First Law of Motion
An object at rest remains at rest unless acted upon by a force outside of itself. This law is sometimes called the law of inertia. Human beings generally prefer their comfort zones and don’t move out of them unless forced to. We especially don’t like change in our environment and don’t much like having our thought patterns rearranged either. We prefer to make our own decisions.
Travel changes us for the better, yet it often takes an earth-shattering event, including hate-filled acts of terrorism, to make us think outside our own safe circles that we live in. Since ours is a three-dimensional world, our circles are really bubbles. We are, of course, allowed to stay inside those bubbles to protect ourselves, our children, and others we love, as well as invite other people in. But from too many directions, the barbarians are pounding on the gates, ready to rush in and burst the bubbles.
We are surrounded by Evil, so need to increase our defenses, physically and spiritually. We can’t just stay at rest all the time, staring wistfully down the street for the knight on a white horse who isn’t coming to rescue us any time soon. There are legions of angels ready to help when the time is right, but we will need to ask our Heavenly Father for them. And sometimes, we are those angels swooping in to rescue an abused child or an adult in distress.
The Second Law of Motion
This one may seem obvious at first but…heavier objects require more force to move the same distance than lighter objects. In addition, when an object pushes another object, it gets pushed back just as hard in the opposite direction. We see obvious evidence of this in contact sports, sometimes with tragic results. We see it even more in the psychological warfare that goes on in almost every aspect of our lives.
Disrespect permeates society today and would be a topic for its own post, but there are cultures where there is NO respect at all unless you push back! In other words, being passive is looked upon as weakness. Each of us has to draw our own line in the sand when it comes to deciding what’s important enough to push back on. Choose your battles wisely, as they say.
However, I’ve seen first-hand what happens when you play doormat to someone else. It leads to you playing doormat in every situation because you haven’t learned to tell someone to stuff it, put a sock in it, or just plain shut up. I don’t condone allowing children to tell an adult to shut up, so we have to be careful which little ears are listening. But when it comes to being bullied at any age, sometimes that’s what’s needed. It isn’t polite to tell someone to shut up but neither are bullies, particularly those from specific name-your-own cultures. Hint: Only idiots talk that way to peace officers any time. The officer with the badge has the upper hand until he or she is proved wrong.
The Third Law of Motion
The third law of motion can be voiced in several ways. Basically it says that for every action, there is a reaction that’s equally strong and is opposed. For every crime, there is a punishment meted out, either here or in the hereafter. For every hurtful statement, there is backlash. It’s also been phrased as: For every cause, there is an effect, although that’s not always the same thing as the opposing forces of action/reaction.
It’s a shame that most of humanity cannot accept how true the third law of motion is. They wouldn’t even need to know what it was called to comprehend the simpler idea that everything we do has consequences. But we cannot tell someone else how to think, let alone what to think. Each of us theoretically has free agency to choose what we do or how we behave, though it doesn’t always work that way.
As unfathomable as it may seem, the laws of motion impact everything we think, say and do every day. Stopping to think things through before we act or spout off may be beneficial but either way we’ll be subject to Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion.