Newton’s Third Law and Silver Linings
By: Rebecca Webb
As the new year draws closer, it can be a time for reflection. As I reflect on this year, I become overwhelmed with so many emotions. 2020 was a rough year for everyone. This year was full of uncertainties and unknowns, confusion, a pandemic, rioting and rebelling, and loss in various form whether it was a loss of a loved one, maybe a job, or something else. This year tested our strength, our perseverance, our character, and our faith. It struck fear into many. 2020 looked different for most of us. And how could we forget the great toilet paper shortage, too!
Oddly enough a simple school assignment I was helping my daughter with made me rethink 2020. It gave it new meaning. I wanted to share it with you. Recently, my daughter needed help with a science assignment. She was learning about Newton’s laws of physics. She came to Newton’s third law of motion. According to Newton, this theory claims that for every action, either positive or negative, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As I began to explain this concept to her, it really got me thinking about how this law applies to life, not just in physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. How can this be applied to 2020? How can this be applied to all the negative experiences from this painful year? Yes, this year was hard and painful, but when I really stop and reflect, I can see so much good as well.
Virtual schooling can be difficult, for both parents and the children. It can be downright frustrating. However, when I stop and think about the positive aspect of it, it makes it worthwhile. Through helping my kids learn at home, I see their creativity, their problem-solving skills, and their determination. I have enjoyed having my kids home with me, and I am thankful for this time with them. I am learning so much more about them, than what they are capable at doing school-wise, too. We have had more time to play, create, craft, enjoy nature, learn about new things, and so much more. I have been able to learn more about their likes and dislikes, what really makes them tick. Yes, I understand they need a school setting, and this might be an unpopular opinion. Pause and try to find the silver lining. And ask yourself, “What are they gaining? What are you gaining?
”Life can be busy. We fritter our lives away working, going from here to there. We all have so much to do. 2020 spoke up and said, “It’s time to step back and slow down.” I have been able to slow down on so many levels and really see what is important in life. I have developed a greater appreciation for the simple things. I have been able to foster an attitude full of gratitude. I was able to do some of those things on my list of “when I have more time, I’ll do…”. I have found new hobbies I enjoy. I took time and reconnected with friends.
While I do realize this is my opinion, I have also spoken to others about their positives from 2020. Some agreed that it was nice to just have time to slow down. One person, who lost their job, said at first all they could see was the negatives. But as a result of their job loss, they decided to follow their dreams and change careers entirely. Something they said they probably would not have ever pursued if they had not been forced into it. Another person I spoke with said that during the trying times, she grew stronger in her faith.
I know that there is still plenty of bad that has happened. I know it can be hard to see the silver linings. I want to encourage you to try. Apply that law of motion, find the equal and opposite positive reaction. What is one good thing you can take away from 2020?