The idea that adversity makes us stronger is not new. Learning to cope and persevere through difficulty is something that more or less just happens, like callouses formed from hard work; our strength and ability to rebound increase and we can do more after we have endured a trial than we could before.
We might think of this in formulaic terms, something like: for each ounce of adversity overcome, an ounce of strength is produced. I have to say though, that right now I’m feeling no benefit at all from the pandemic experience. I feel no stronger physically or emotionally. I’m exhausted and discouraged.
Never mind, I found this article in this blog’s drafts folder, started in January, 2021 when I was evidently hoping for something positive to come out of all the Covid madness.
I asked: What if the positive effect of some kinds of challenges was much more than 1:1?
In fact, there is such a phenomenon, a “boosting” effect that can been seen when the proximate energy of a body is harnessed in order to add to the energy of a body approaching it. This is what is known as gravity assist.
Gravity assist, n. The use of the gravitational field of a moon, planet, or other moving celestial object to change a spacecraft’s trajectory, especially to increase its velocity. (Ref.)
If we look at the current crises (e.g. the pandemic, US election madness, Ukraine) as kind of gravitational bodies, and certain other global problems (e.g. global warming) as an approaching body, might not the effect of the gravity of one be harnessed to change direction and speed of the other? Could the pandemic be used to leverage change in our approach to global warming and actually accelerate us in a new direction at an incredible new speed?
If we look at global warming as a group of bodies (science + popular opinion + political will): as these bodies enter the gravitational pull of other world crises (there are so many to choose from: food security, militarism, xenophobia…) these ‘weighty’ matters first pull on the global warming group, accelerating them, then swing them around to a new direction, after which they speed off toward profound, game changing, hitherto unimaginable solutions. Crisis averted: science, popular opinion and political will aligned in a positive direction, speeding off together toward a better future.