Momentum (June 10)


“Hope is an adventure, a going forward — a confident search for a rewarding life” (Karl Menninger).

AS WE TRY TO GO FORWARD IN LIFE, IT HELPS TO HAVE A LITTLE “MOMENTUM” — AN IMPELLING FORCE OR IMPETUS THAT FILLS OUR SAILS WITH WIND AND PROMOTES OUR PROGRESS. Momentum is the thrust that comes from hope. It’s the energy and enthusiasm that are generated when it begins to appear that our actions may have an exciting, desirable outcome after all.

Momentum is one of the most helpful, and delightful, things in life. Athletes, for example, know how powerful it can be. In a critical contest, to have momentum on your side is to be almost unstoppable — and to know that momentum is on your opponent’s side is to be in a difficult position indeed. In a similar way, we can be helped tremendously in all of our everyday affairs by the power of momentum.

Most of us interact with other people regularly, and we’re involved in a number of collective endeavors where people have to work together to accomplish shared goals. In these kinds of interactions, we need to strive to be individuals whose involvement lends positive momentum to whatever activities we attach ourselves to. We can be people whose presence in any group helps to give hope and positive energy to that group’s undertakings, whatever they may be.

Momentum, whether in our private lives or in group endeavors, is not simply something we have to sit passively and wait for. It’s not something that happens to us as much as it’s something we create by our own decisions. Yes, external events do sometimes impart a welcome momentum to our projects, but more often than not, it lies within our power to water the soil out of which momentum grows.

The best momentum creator, as most of us have experienced, is action. When there’s an unpleasant thing to be done and we feel the wind blowing against us, we have only to get started and suddenly we feel the wind at our back, helping us. “It is only when I dally with what I am about, looking back and aside instead of keeping my eyes straight forward, that I feel these cold sinkings of the heart. But the first broadside puts all to rights” (Sir Walter Scott). Try it and see!

“Action is the antidote to despair” (Joan Baez).

Gary Henry –