Do you or know someone who doesn’t get out much? Do they prefer watching television to riding a bike? Then this post is for you!
What is ‘Inertia’?
Here is the definition of inertia (from dictionary.com):
“Resistance or disinclination of a body to motion, action or change”
“A tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest”
If I were to simplify these definitions, these are some of the words that I would use:
- Disengaged/Clueless (in relation to the surroundings)
Let me put this in context. Do you remember the science experiment in high school that demonstrated the concept of inertia?
If not, I can reiterate.
- Place a cloth over a table
- Set a few items on the cloth such as cups and dishes (preferably not glass)
- Pull the cloth towards you, using both arms evenly, in a very swift and horizontal motion
*If executed correctly, the cups and dishes should stay in their original positions even after the cloth has been pulled away.
Why? Because the objects are resistant to change in motion.
Let’s put this into a real life scenario:
It’s Saturday morning. There are so many fun things to do with the family. There are so many errands to run. The challenge is getting everyone else on board with your swift pace (much like the cloth in the illustration above).
Inertia rears its ugly head!!
Figuratively speaking, there are times when you just want to pull the cloth without attention to the direction and effort used. Unfortunately, that would simply result in a disruptive situation. Trying to drag everyone along also creates a negative atmosphere because of their apparent resistance to change.
There are ways to move things along though. It would involve some negotiation, patience, leadership and more patience. Let’s be honest here…our patience reservoirs sometimes get dried up…but it will eventually (when the drought passes 😀) get replenished so don’t give up hope.
But why has inertia become more widespread today? There are a few reasons:
- Kids don’t play outside with the neighbors as much. Everyone is busy with their own lives and we don’t feel as safe letting our kids hang out in the neighborhood without close supervision
- Portable devices have eliminated the need for basic social interaction. If you are ever in an airport, bus or restaurant, just take a look at how many kids and adults are on their phones or devices. This has become a standard part of life!
- Too many options on television. How many t.v. stations do we need anyway?
- The internet provides a plethora of viewing and reading options. Reading is a good thing but pointless reading is an utter waste of time!
- Web-enabled video games…supposedly this is a substitute for social interaction!
If everything you need is at your fingertips and can be achieved by sitting in the same position for hours and hours then where is the motivation to get out and play, run around, interact wih people (face to face), and be active? Obesity is a result of eating unhealthy high calorie and high fat foods compounded by the lack of activity in kids today.
The only saving grace for kids is that parents can sign them up for sports like swimming, soccer, tennis, taekwondo or any other sport of choice.
Adults on the other hand have to realize the negative consequences of inertia (physical, emotional and social) and make changes on their own. We can only encourage them or try to engage them but they have to perceive activity as important in order to change their inactive ways.
Let’s not watch our families fall victim to this horrible tendency. For starters, do things as a family like hike, bike or play sports in the park or backyard. It will do them good and it will do you good!