Back in school, I had always enjoyed studying Mathematics and Science, especially Physics and Chemistry. I found that Mathematics and Science, were pretty simple subjects to learn and grasp. The trick was, to simply understand the relevant concept, formula, theory or law. Everything else then falls into space. The other thing that I liked was that these concepts, fomulas, theories or laws had been proven as true and can be proven again with ease. They made a lot of sense, which again made remembering them that much easier.
Some time during either a Science or Physics lesson, my classmates and I were introduced to a story about a man in England, in the 17th century, who was hit by a falling apple while sitting under an apple tree. What made this story interesting and remarkable was the fact that, being inspired by the apple that hit him on his head, he went on to come up with laws regarding gravity. This man, known as Sir Isaac Newton, contributed immensely to the scientific community, including one of my favourite laws in physics, one of three laws, collectively known in physics as the Laws of Motion. Just to digress a bit, we Malaysians are pretty sure that a Malaysian was inspired in a similar manner and came up with laws regarding gravity, way before Sir Isaac Newton. The only problem was, he never got to tell others about it, as he happened to sit under a durian tree.
“Law III: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.“ – Source: Wikipedia
Of the three Laws of Motion, I like the Third Law of Motion, also known as Newton’s Third Law. In short, it states that “For every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction”. Interestingly, there has always been a concept in the region of South Asia or what is today the Indian sub-continent, which sounds almost similar, if not, the same as that of Newton’s Third Law. It is even more interesting to note that this concept has been around, long before the 17th century. It simply is an ancient concept, as old as the faiths that have it at their heart. This concept can be described as the Law of Karma or to many, simply as Karma.
“The law of karma teaches us that all of our thoughts, words and actions begin a chain of cause and effect, and that we will personally experience the effects of everything we cause.” – Source: spiritual-encyclopedia.com
Depending on one’s religious dispensation and believes, Karma can be perceived and understood in a variety of ways. The common theme is that, if one does something good, one can expect to receive something good in return. Conversely, if one does a bad deed, one can be assured of being in the receiving end of another bad deed. A simpler way of stating this would be, “You reap, what you sow” or “What goes around, comes around”. Now that sounds very similar, if not the same, as “For every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction”, which just so happens to be Newtons’ Third Law.
Both, Newton’s Third Law and the concept of Karma highlights something fundamentally important, yet neglected in the hustle and bustle of our life. The fact is, anything and everything in this world exists in balance and must remain so. If that balance is disturbed, the disturbance will be addressed, somehow, until balance is again restored. This is simply the nature of how things are and will be, explained by the concept of Karma and proven by Newton’s Third Law. The challenge of course is to live our life with the idea of balance in mind. It is so easy to forget it, what with so many distractions and things calling out for our attention everyday, or is it?
In reality, keeping things in balance, is as simple as remembering what we don’t like and ensuring that we don’t do the same to others. Nobody likes being cut off by another vehicle, when waiting in queue for the traffic lights to turn green. Nobody likes another vehicle swerving into their lanes at high speeds on the highway with no prior indication on the intention to do so. Nobody likes having an empty parking spot being taken up just as they were about to reverse and park their vehicle at that spot after having waited and indicated their intention to do so. Nobody likes having to wait for the next train because they couldn’t board one, as people crowded and stood by the exits when there was enough space to place an elephant inside the train. Nobody likes being yelled at or being embarrassed in public.
The fact is, keeping everything in balance can be easily done, as easy as doing things that we would like people to do for us, to others. Who doesn’t like being greeted warmly when walking in to work in the morning? Who wouldn’t like having the lift door being kept open for them, as they rush in towards the lift? Who doesn’t like being given way to walk through a narrow doorway in a busy place? Who wouldn’t like being offered a seat when there is one, in a crowded bus? Who doesn’t like being told thank you when having done something nice, without being asked to do so? All these gestures are easy to do and cost us nothing.
A simple act of kindness, will go a long way in not just keeping everything in balance but also makes our day that much brighter. To top it off, we have also made someone else’s day, that much brighter as well. There is no need to spend lots of time or money to do a good deed, especially when one lacks such resources. Just simple acts, that cost us very little or close to nothing, is more than sufficient in keeping the balance just fine. Once one starts with these, keeping things in balance will become a habit, so natural that one won’t even realise it. After all, ancient concepts and scientific theories are good reasons to do so. The simple fact that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, is good enough a reason to do something nice, sooner rather than later.
P.S.: The feature image is sourced from Pexels.