Another Un-Newsletter, this one from Oct ’03.
(BTW, I’m moving next week & starting a new job – normal(ish) service will be resumed when I’m all settled)
And did the Earth move for you, Darling?
“Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum strong enough, and single-handed I can move the world.” – I vaguely remember being quoted this from Archimedes, or some other classical Greek scholar, during one dull afternoon in an ‘A’ level physics class by Mr Gill, our then physics teacher. Vaguely, because I was either wishing I was out on the games field playing rugby, or was having a fantasy about whichever one of the girls in my drama class I had a teenage crush on at the time. Whatever I was thinking about, my attention certainly wasn’t focussed on physics, and given that at the time I spent a disproportionate amount of time pre-occupied with one of those two subjects, I’d hazard a guess now it was either one or the other.
But fulcrums and levers did recently pop back into my head though, while fitting a new cistern to my downstairs toilet – (I still have that little-boy fascination with all things with moving parts and was fiddling with the flushing mechanism).
And it got me thinking….
While I have no wish to go up against almost 2,500 years of the collected knowledge of mechanics, physics and engineering, from Archimedes, Brunel, through to Einstein and Hawkins (and particularly Mr Gill – I got in enough trouble with him after arguing about tea-cups, lasers and the law of entropy – buts that’s a whole other story). It also occurred to me that it is more than possible to change the world individually. There is a much simpler way of doing it.
To change the world – turn your focus inwards, change your inner world by put your own attention to your own thinking, values and motivation and with the right intent, and your outer world has a habit of fitting in around you. It’s that simple. I’ve experienced it myself and observed it in others. Ok, I accept that by doing that, your unlikely to ever tilt the world off its axis, but then who would want to anyway? It would only cause cataclysmic tidal waves and Armageddon-like chaos anyway.
But in changing yourself and focussing your attention on what really does matter to you, then real, lasting change, is very achievable, and you don’t need a lever, fulcrum or funding from NASA large enough to bankrupt the entire global economy either. And what’s more you’ll notice it has a domino-like effect, and has lasting impact on those around you too. Try it sometime, you might be surprised at the results. It’s not about just thinking something different, although that can help, but manifest those thoughts into actions, something tangible and do and be different.
The original quote, does conjure up some amusing images in my head of a skinny, elderly man, wearing a toga, with a long grey beard and bad teeth, in deep space, nonchalantly pulling on a lever, while we all are thrown around down here though. But maybe that’s just a visual of God, and not a Greek philosopher after all.
There is, of course a third method of making the earth move for you – pass my cigarettes, I feel the need for a post-coital smoke coming on.