May the force be equal to mass times acceleration

Kayla Song, Centerspread Editor

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With diseases, natural disasters and nuclear threats dropping faster than bobby pins, it isn’t odd that people are losing  hope in the good of the world. After all, we can all fondly reminisce on that blissful era when our most pressing concern was the wild Pokémon-infested depths of Mount Coronet, and our greatest mystery was how adults could enjoy spinach. How did we end up here? Now our grades are dropping harder than Parveen’s Soundcloud mixtapes, and we have to worry about student loans, oil changes, and what in the world are tax returns? How are we to survive?

Unfortunately, as someone who copes with stress by looking at memes, “weeping a thousand tears” and rewatching Vines, I have no idea how to answer that question. However, what I do know (sort of), is basic physics. The retired, but still legendary Mr. Kirby taught me that “all of the forces in the universe add up to zero.” In other words, the forces in this universe end up cancelling each other out. Of course, he was trying to drill in Newton’s Third Law, which states that, “for every force, there is an equal and opposite force,” but as the poetic little mushroom that I am, I took it to heart both literally and figuratively.

From my limited experience, I’ve found that the good and the bad in life almost always come in pairs. Love can lead to betrayal and destruction, kindness can be taken advantage of and friendships open doors to more drama and hurt. Even on a purely physical level, cars are convenient, but they increase the danger of collisions; electricity saves lives, but it pollutes the environment; and education is important, but it can lead to a great deal of stress and anxiety. I’m doing a great job of inspiring you guys, aren’t I?

Of course, if we only focus on the positive to negative, we’ll tumble into the barren river and spend the rest of our days looking at dank memes. We need to remember to consider the other end of the spectrum: negative forces prompt positive forces. Financial struggles teach us to be content and thankful. Hurt teaches us to be strong and understanding. Tragedies lead to unity; they remind us of what is important.

As a pessimistic perfectionist, I understand how difficult it can be to see the good that comes from the hardships in life, but let’s think of this like a nerd. I can lift a cabbage using my feet, a strong pair of chopsticks or by whacking it off a tee with my Stats textbook. In other words, an upwards force can be exerted in many different ways, with many different steps, and so can good. Whether they manifest themselves physically, verbally, financially, morally, meme-ily, socially, sentimentally or spiritually, positive forces exist all around us. We just have to look for them.

I’m not saying that things aren’t chaotic. As physics suggests, entropy is increasing, and disorder is on the rise. Nevertheless, just like in Physics, recognizing only the negative forces won’t help us solve the big problems. In order to give ourselves a chance at maintaining reasonable hope for the future, we must take reality as it is, both the good and the bad. And if that doesn’t work, just remember. There’s always memes.

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May the force be equal to mass times acceleration