Daily Post prompt: Tell us about a time you did a 180 — changed your views on something, reversed a decision, or acted in a way you ordinarily don’t.
Hm. This prompt would require me to admit that I am not always right, which as we all know, couldn’t possibly be the case. The Goldfish is the very definition of perfection.
Alright, so maybe that last sentence is a little more than a little false.
I’ve actually changed my mind a lot of times, but probably the biggest turnabout is the concept of a fair universe.
There was a time when the justice system failed me so completely that I fell back on the old concept of universal justice. The universe takes care of its own, right? I convinced myself that even if human justice was wholly incompetent and basically downright shite, the universe had laws of its own. Namely, the laws of physics! As with all big questions in life, I turned to science; Sir Isaac Newton, to be specific.
Newton came up with three laws of motion:
- The law of inertia: Every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force. This is normally taken as the definition of inertia. The key point here is that if there is no net force acting on an object (if all the external forces cancel each other out) then the object will maintain a constant velocity. If that velocity is zero, then the object remains at rest. If an external force is applied, the velocity will change because of the force.
- The second law defines a force to be equal to change in momentum (mass times velocity) per change in time. For an object with a constant mass m, the second law states that the force F is the product of an object’s mass and its acceleration a:
F = m * a
For an external applied force, the change in velocity depends on the mass of the object. A force will cause a change in velocity; and likewise, a change in velocity will generate a force. The equation works both ways.
- The third law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words, if object A exerts a force on object B, then object B also exerts an equal force on object A. The third law can be used to explain the generation of lift by a wing and the production of thrust by a jet engine.
Or in layman’s terms:
- An object in motion will stay in motion, vice versa.
- The heavier the object, the more force it takes to move it.
- For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. For example, if you punch a wall, the wall exerts an equal amount of force back at you and breaks your fingers. I wouldn’t recommend punching walls. I appliedto the concept of universal justice or “karma.” You cannot commit evil acts without an equal amount of evil coming back at you. Or, conversely, you cannot commit evil acts without an equal or opposite, i.e. amount of good, going out into the world.
It’s a nice hypothesis and it got me through some really tough times, but I don’t believe that anymore. I’ve never seen it work. I’ve seen monsters go unpunished. I’ve seen poor people locked up for good while rich people buy their way out. I’ve seen the unfairness of the universe personally and have lived the results. Neither one of my monsters has ever seen the inside of a courtroom for what they did to me. Both of them are still out there, free to create more victims.
You can’t apply the laws of motion to the acts of people. Physics only applies to certain human behaviors, like motion and gravity, but not to our minds. Humans are responsible for governing human minds. The laws of physics can’t touch intent.
Humans either tip towards evil or good, and we all are capable of both. The only thing that controls which side we lean towards most is ourselves. There is no higher punishment for evil. There is no karma coming back to you. There is only you and your brain and the laws of man.
It’s a shitty deal if you ask me. It means that so many evil monsters out there go unpunished. I’d like to believe there is a form of universal justice, but I can’t. I’d like to believe there’s a universal scale on which justice is measured, but there isn’t. The laws of man and the laws of physics are inadequate to govern the human mind. We have to take care of ourselves. It’s a lousy, unfair world, which makes it even more imperative that we take care of each other.