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Laws Sir Isaac Newton Forgot ...

November 05, 2013

The other day I was reminded of the famous Sir Isaac Newton of the Law of gravity fame. I have to admit that at first I couldn’t remember which subject it was I studied about him, but as I was perched on my loo I remembered him. So, why was I thinking of Isaac Newton while I was in the toilet?

You see, I had just gotten home after being stuck in traffic for almost three hours and obviously me being one who takes a lot of water, I was nearly bursting at the seams (if you know what I mean) and hence needed immediate relief. So as soon as I got home, I rushed to the loo finally relieved that I was about to get relief. All the excess water I had taken during the day, plus all the toxins from my body left my system. Then it was time to use the tissue paper, and it is at that point that I remembered good old Mr. Newton.

From what my teachers taught me in Physics, they said he is the one who came up with the law of gravity, among a few other laws such as the three laws of motion. But seriously, what do you expect of a man who was so passionate about physics and mathematics? Of course you didn’t expect him to come up with laws of agriculture or food technology. It had to be something scientific and geeky. Anyway, moving on….

Having studied the laws that Newton came up with, I have a few I think he forgot to add as he was doing his researches. I would like to share with you some of them based on experiences I have had, starting specifically with the one that came to mind that day I was thinking about him in the loo.

LAW OF TOILET PAPER: The closer the roll is to the end, the faster it goes, which means you can easily underestimate how much of it would be remaining, thus finding yourself in an interesting dilemma. Like I did.

LAW OF QUEUE: If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now, regardless of whether you are in the bank or in traffic. Talk about being taught a lesson in patience.

LAW OF TELEPHONE: When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged one. And in most cases, the person on the other side is not very polite.

LAW OF MECHANICAL REPAIR: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose or eye will begin to itch.

LAW OF THE WORKSHOP: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner, especially when you need it most.

LAW OF THE ALIBI: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tyre, the very next day you will have a flat tyre and get late for work genuinely. But can you use the same lie twice? You’d have to tell your boss you lied.

BATH THEOREM: When the body is immersed in water, either the doorbell or the telephone always rings. And in most cases, you would be alone in the house at that time. Watch out that you don’t rush out of your bathroom without clothes like Archimedes did when he discovered the relationship between weight of an object and the water it disposes when it is immersed in water.

LAW OF ENCOUNTERS: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with. I guess all those cheating on their spouses/partners can easily identify with this law.

LAW OF THE RESULT: When you try to prove to your boss that a machine won't work, it will! And guess who looks like a fool, you or the machine?

LAW OF PATIENCE: When your patience wears out say when you are waiting for someone and you decide to leave, just a few minutes later the person you were waiting for comes in only to find you gone. Another lesson in patience.

LAW OF BIOMECHANICS: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach, not forgetting where you are at the time of the itch. But of course if you are like some uncouth men, your rule is “if they itch, they get scratched”.

LAW OF COFFEE: As soon as you sit down for a cup of hot coffee, your boss will give you an assignment that lasts until the coffee is cold. The most interesting thing is that the assignment is normally “urgent” but not important. Some bosses seriously need help.

I could go on and on and on about laws that Sir Newton forgot but for now, I guess these twelve will do. Speaking of laws, I think the wise old men of this region were very smart and inspired since they too came up with very many laws which we now call “Methali” or “Misemo”, in English being “Proverbs” and “Sayings”. One saying I would like to dwell on today is Ukitaka cha mvunguni, sharti uiname, which loosely translated would mean if you want something under the bed then you have to go under and pick it up. Well, with the various tools such as brooms and long sticks available, one would say going under the bed is not necessary. Unfortunately this applies to those who take this saying at face value, meaning they do not quite understand what the saying really means.

In life, unless you are born with a golden spoon in your life, you have to work for everything you need. But even so, every so often you need to do some things for yourself, such as using the toilet. No one can do that for you other than you, unless of course you are sick and someone is assisting you, but still they would only be there to assist you as you do your thing. Having said that, I have in the recent past come across very many people who apply the theory of “If something falls under the bed or under the couch way too far for them to reach it, then they assume they don’t need it”. In other words, they put off doing things that need to be done until when they can’t put them off any longer. Such people do not really care that their lazy mentality could be inconveniencing others.

For instance, how many people do you know that do not apply themselves at work like they should but at the end of every month they are always the first ones to pick up their salaries? How many people do you know who are not willing to sweat and do the hard stuff, but would jump at any opportunity to make a quick shilling easily, even if it means engaging in some illegal activities? The key word in this case is “easily”. How many young men do you know who would rather spend the whole day “kijiweni” waiting for some miraculous opportunity to fall from the sky, while they could have used the brains to do something better and more worthwhile with their lives? And what about the young ladies who have decided to use their bodies instead of their brains to get good jobs or good grades, ending up with sexually transmitted promotions and grades?

To paraphrase what someone said, even if you are on the right track, a car will hit you if you do not move. Yes, in order to get what you want, you have to make the effort to get it, regardless of whether you do the getting it in person or you commission someone else to do it on your behalf. Whatever the case, at the end of the day you have to act, you have to do something in order to get the results you are looking for.

As I conclude this article this week, I’d like to encourage us to not wait for things to happen but to do like our old wisemen said in the wise saying I shared earlier. If you want something, go out there and get it and don’t wait for it to get to you. If you do, you might never get it because among other reasons, someone else could very well take it before it reaches you.

Again I repeat, Ukitaka cha mvunguni, sharti uiname”.

Wishing you a proactive week and month ahead. 

 

PS: Article published in Tanzania's Guardian on Sunday on the 3rd November, 2013, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words"

 

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