Inertia

Inertia has always bothered me. The way unfinished books bother me. The way pending conversations bother me. The way things left unsaid bother me.

It’s bothered me mostly as a way of running one’s existence. That feeling we get that our life is “by default, not by design”. That uncomfortable question we ask ourselves sometimes that goes something like: “how did I get here?”, “is this what I wanted to be?”, “is this what I wanted to do for pay?”, “is this where I wanted to grow old?”, and others.

When the answer to those questions is inertia, that has always bothered me.

Except today. See, inertia is just the word that we use to describe the force a moving object has in the direction that it has already been set in motion to by other forces. It exhibits a propensity to maintain a given path, and only the effect of new forces will break that progression.

Let’s apply that to people’s fate. If I set the ball in motion, if I pointed it down a target and made it roll down the lane, what is wrong with it’s trajectory then? What is wrong at all those intermediate moments in time where the ball is just “getting there”, “approaching the target”, “moving in closer”? Nothing wrong with them. Implemented as planned.

The problem simply comes up when we decide the target is still interesting when in fact it ceased to be so. When we succumb to the power (force times displacement, no?) of that inertia and we decide not to fight against it. That is the day it will spin us out of control and take us places we don’t want to be, make us become people we don’t enjoy embodying, just because we’ve decided to go along for the ride.

No matter how interesting that ride is, it probably ain’t worth it.

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