The Law of Relativity in Action

By Shanna Hoppie

The Law of Relativity states:

Your situation is not fundamentally good or bad until you compare it to something else. Until you decide that it is either good or bad.

Situations in life just are. We are the ones who decide that something or someone is good or bad. Here’s an instance that happened to me the other day.

I was driving down a country lane and in front of me was a semi-truck – the kind that is normally pulling a long trailer behind it. It wasn’t pulling anything on this day.

As I followed, I began to notice that the person driving it must have been drunk, because he was all over the road. Sometimes he was on the right side, sometimes on the left, sometimes swerving quickly. He had to have been drunk or something was going wrong – something.

I began to be concerned that I was in danger. What if he swerved to hard and rolled his vehicle, hitting me in the process? Or, what if he hit an oncoming car and created a severe accident? Why do people choose to drive while under the influence? I began to see scenarios of ways that an accident could happen. What will happen to my children if they have to live without a mother? How will my husband be able to raise 6 children on his own?

Then something happened to my awareness of the situation. It finally dawned on me that the lane we were traveling down was lined thickly with trees. They were never in my way, so I didn’t really notice them. The truck on the other hand was much taller and had nice shiny smoke stacks up each side. If the driver drove down the road correctly, he would have hit probably 90 percent of the trees. However, he was carefully maneuvering his large vehicle through the path of least resistance (fewer, higher branches).

Once I understood what he was doing, his actions were no longer completely out of control but justifiably in control.

How often do we go through life, judging others or situations in our life only to realize, once we have all the information or are open to seeing things from a different perspective, that what we thought was wrong was really right?


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Shanna Hoppie
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