This guest post is by Friend of Beerasana Katherine O’Hare.
I was listening to Radiolab on NPR this weekend and heard a great talk on “What a Slinky Knows.” We all know the basic moves of a Slinky, but a deeper lesson is hidden within the ol’ Slinky.
Here’s how to find it…
1) Dangle a Slinky above the ground as though you were holding a fish by the tip of its tail.
2) Let it extend to its full length.
3) then Let go. (key words)
The most amazing thing happens. For a fraction of a second, the bottom of the slinky hoovers in space defying the laws of gravity, while the top of the slinky is falling.
Can a Slinky defy gravity? Not really; what’s happening is even simpler than that. The bottom of the Slinky doesn’t know it’s falling. It has not yet received the message to fall, so it’s simply not falling. Until the ring above the bottom one hits saying “we’re falling” the bottom ring of the Slinky does not fall. It’s a beautiful study in how the flow of information affects our physical world.
How many of us suffer needlessly worrying about things before they have “hit” us or come to be a problem in our lives? Yes, a little worry and anxiety is normal and even helpful at times. But when our anxiety spirals out of control and will not switch off, we could look to the Slinky, and simply be unaffected until we feel a hit and not a second sooner.
Live like a Slinky. Fall like a Slinky. Then get up and move on like a Slinky.