Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion says, “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.” This, of course cannot be true. Every moving object has to contend with drag, resistance and friction. Remember those toys on desks a few years ago? There were seven steel balls on strings and when you pulled one out and let go, it did the same thing on the other side.
However, it would eventually stop. Otherwise, it would be perpetual motion. So, any movement in our atmosphere is subject to external force and wear. I stand against Sir Newton’s contention of “equal.” I know I’m alone in the world with that position, but so be it. However, I do like his cookies.
But, I digress. Let’s talk about action and reaction. Maybe go a step further and see if we can point out the differences and direct some responsibility. Our world is filled with much consternation against reaction. If they were brothers, Reaction would be called the troublemaker. Action is often the “favorite” child and gets by with the proverbial “murder” as blame often is laid at Reaction’s feet.
To set up our premise let’s say there are people who look alike among themselves. They might look differently outside their world. However, most go about their lives like everyone else. They often hold different beliefs about some things, but on the whole are much the same as society as a whole.
Let’s say they are “middle aged white men, with red hair, freckles and a large nose with a wart.” Among their own kind they have a stereotypical look. For the sake of brevity, we will call them StereoJoes.
What if 19 of them hijacked airplanes and crashed them directly into the World Trade Center and our Pentagon? Then one of the good StereoJoes walks up to an airline counter to purchase a ticket. What should happen? Anything less than major scrutiny would be a dereliction of duty and putting the rest of us in potential danger.
StereoJoes, by their own admission, stand responsible for the deaths of 130 people in Paris. A self named SJ killed 13 people in Fort Hood. Brother SJ’s exploded two bombs killing three and injuring over 250 people at the Boston Marathon, forever changing how we gather in public.
The list goes on and on. As of Nov. 20, in 2015 alone there have been 298 terrorist attacks around the world. Where there has been evidence available or groups taking responsibility, most were the result of our StereoJoes’ “war against the world,” taking liberties with the title of H.G. Wells novel of 1897.
A phenomenal thing began to happen. If StereoJoes go into a bank, they are scrutinized. The same at the airport. People, who by and large, like the “live and let live” mantra are becoming vigilant. “See something, say something” is slowly becoming the order of the day. Our own Homeland Security has this at the top of their webpage: “Prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes or terrorist attacks. If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department.”
One might say we are on the right track. Certain people need to be watched. But not so fast!
The StereoJoes are fighting back. Not at their own people, who are doing these terrible things, but rather against the people who don’t like it. Against the people who look askew at them in certain places. Leagues are formed to combat the image that is forming. StereoJoe leaders go to every mic that will let them, and rail on how we have to stop the StereoJoe stereotyping. However, their protests are against the “reaction.” Not the original “action.”
If the “middle aged white men, with red hair, freckles and a large nose with a wart” want us to have a different opinion, it is their responsibility to show us who they aren’t. They have to vehemently reject their own that are causing this continued destruction. We can’t, nor should we have to, fix it for them.
So, Sir Isaac, did you blame the apple or gravity? Either way, it’s not our fault.
Grey Brendle is a retired businessman, living in Fairfield County. He has written weekly articles for newspapers in the Southeast from South Carolina to Florida for 15 years.