Posted on

A hope note

I’ve never taken a physics class, but I do remember reading somewhere about Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion: for every action in nature, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
For example, the good luck of the early bird that gets the worm means that the early worm had bad luck.
Or take lottery winners. Many have said years later that the day they won the lottery was the worst day of their lives because the win translated into a trail of lost families, lost friendships and lost lives.
Or take the escalation of gas prices. As infuriating as it is for most all of us and devastating for some of us, it undeniably is having some positive reactions.
As people are driving less, highway fatalities are down 15 to 20 percent.
Neighborhood stores are getting more customers. Some consumers apparently are thinking, ‘How intelligent is it for me to hop in my car and burn $10 of gas to find a deal halfway across town instead of going to my neighborhood store and paying a little more?’
Neighbors are interacting with neighbors more, some for the first time. Ride-sharing is up.
More people are walking. Could the high price of driving actually affect therapeutically our country’s obesity epidemic?
People buying smaller or hybrid cars means fewer total emissions and a cleaner environment.
One very hopeful sign is that library usage is way up. With almost everything else going up in cost, reading books, thanks to our country’s public library system, is free. In those books, people come across wisdom like the sentence from Sir Francis Bacon: ‘Prosperity best discovers vice; adversity best discovers virtue.’
Some of those old British sirs, like Newton and Bacon, really knew how to turn a phrase.