The concept of inertia has its value only in academic Physics or as the name of a brewing company. Else the word and the concept die their natural death. There is an urge to be in inertia; urge – more than the tendency, to maintain status quo. The word ‘urge’ itself is so much an anti-inertia word. Urge and inertia then confront each other – even if urge is in favour of inertia.
In the book “If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him! The Pilgrimage of Psychotherapy Patients”, Sheldon Kopp makes a very interesting statement about inertia, without using the word. He says about a patient, alluding to the common man, “He prefers the security of known misery to the misery of unfamiliar insecurity.” Poetry of misery abounds, with specks of hope, but poetry that sings of moving on, a ballad of newness is rare and infrequent. There are stories of hope, but a few of success. Cushy feelings and mushy thoughts prosper when dread rules. Then, the present state presents itself to be that much unyielding; that much unproductive and rotting. The urge now seems to change form to change the inert state.
Activity would be a potential antonym to inertia, when referring to the inertia as a tendency to stay in its restful state. In fact – isn’t inertia about resisting acceleration? When a concept in physics is applied to human beings, it takes on a new dimension.
The better opposite of inertia in the human context is risk.
The gateway to the future – every familiar reality today was a risky venture in some form. Risk enabled the world to move on – take the next steps – help make this world a relatively better place. Risk doesn’t necessarily beget success; it however does change state – the restful state.
Risk is the possibility of suffering loss.
Maybe we need to risk inertia?