HitchHiker’s Third Law of Emotion
Many of you know that as a HitchHiker traveling on this great computer, I am often an observer of life around me, and it astounds me how many of us still haven’t grasped that Newton’s Third Law of Motion is not supposed to govern our lives, and yet we let it.
Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion explains that “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Spend the next twenty-four hours watching yourself and others as we relate. Watch how your spouse reacts when you say something condescending or when an acquaintance corrects another’s historical “facts” or grammar. You often see or even hear the opposite reaction, resulting in an equal or escalated emotional response. I call this HitchHiker’s Third Law of Emotion. (More on the first two later)
You can see this Law in play in history. In the 1950s, some viewed television as subversive, so extra rigid (and silly) rules were put in place governing some of the most natural of things. For instance, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo slept in twin beds, and when Lucy found herself “expecting,” they were not allowed to use the word “pregnant” because it was considered vulgar by network executives. How the heck do they think she got “enciente?” Unfortunately the counter-reaction was to take out all the stops, which has led us to insinuate or even show some of the most lurid sexual details that only belong in a marital context. Yes, HitchHiker is pretty old-fashioned that way!
You can also find the Law at play within some of our Christian traditions. The Higher Biblical Criticism movement of 18th and 19th Century Europe, spawned by the Enlightenment, basically claimed that the Bible was only historical literature and should be treated as such, thus stripping away most if not all supernatural intervention. This extreme created a pushback (read backlash here), which resulted in an equally silly and extreme counter-argument that the Bible, inspired by God and written by humans, was somehow to be worshiped. One only needs to look at Luke’s geographic illiteracy to know that the author of the third Gospel and Acts (27.5% of the New Testament) was not perfect. These created an urge from both the progressives and evangelicals to try to pull people to their camps, a diseaese we still suffer from today. It actually has the opposite reaction, and we wonder why people are rejecting the Author of Life, the Universe, and Everything!
Then we come to the granddaddy of them all; the Democratic Republic! In May, we saw two mass shootings perpetrated by very disturbed 18-year-old children that took 31 innocent lives. Immediately, the Clowns to the Left and Jokers to the Right began their kneejerk political/emotional reaction dances, trying to pull us into their camps. All this does is create a stalemate at best, and additional histrionics. Soon, everybody will forget those fourth-graders, teachers, and innocent African American grocery store patrons gunned down because of emotional disturbance that is likely the result of our polar-opposite PushMePullYou dispositions. Doesn’t anybody see the tragedy in this?!?!
The HitchHiker’s Third Law of Emotion calls for us to stop the PushMePullYou emotional tug of war and meet in the middle for a loving and reasonable discussion, for it is there that you will find “The Way, the TRUTH, and the Life.