GUEST COLUMN: A clearing of the minds
Friday, 19 October 2012 by Mark Magnan
The origin of Murphy's Law has a lot of stories, I am sure the truth is out there. But the concept of "Murphy's Law" is that "If anything can go wrong, it will" I believe a similar thought is the Boy Scout's motto of "Be Prepared", is a better way to look at things.
However we see a lot of examples of Murhpy's Law in our daily lives. There is a direct correlation between the lightness of the article of clothing and the darkness of the liquid that is spilled on it. For example a nice white shirt seems to attract dark drinks like coffee. The same holds true for dark fabrics. They are usually subject to spills from bleach or something else that really stands out.
There have been tests run to see why a piece of bread always falls moist side down on carpeted surfaces. I am not sure if there is an equation for that. But the same holds try as with clothing, white carpet gets the dark stains and so on. You never hear of someone spilling guacamole on avocado colored carpet, or orange juice on burnt orange carpet. But sure enough chocolate syrup makes its way to beige colored carpets with a higher frequency.
It seems illogical that Murphy's Law could be considered realistic. But at times we see people that seem to live like that. People that look on the negative side of every situation. And that make comments like "With my luck...". But if we truly subscribed to Murphy we wouldn't be able to do anything. If we drove our cars we could expect to get hit by a train. Every time we flew on an airplane we might expect the wings to fall off in mid air. Of course it wouldn't be safe to stay home either, the roof could fall in.
Some folks live in the fear of the next disease to catch. Or look for some major home or auto repair, or something well beyond their control. Of course a good portion of the news being broadcast each day seems to confirm those unreasonable fears. We learn how close we are to some catastrophic event or the fragility of the human race. Later this year the Earth is expected to end because of an ancient calendar that was found. How about this idea, if the originators that calendar were so darn smart where are they today? Why didn't they invent airplanes or computers? Perhaps their calendar was correct and they just missed the actual date by a few hundred years. Or they might have just wanted to mess with people in the future as a practical joke.
Sometimes I think we get what we expect. If we look for the dark parts of our days we seem to find them. There is a lot said about laughter and how it affects our health and outlook on life. Perhaps we could rewrite poor Murphy's observation and take into account that he missed the mark. A few suggestions; "If anything can go wrong it was probably taken into account by the engineers and they solved the problem", "Whatever could go wrong hasn't yet, so probably won't today either", "If we are playing the overwhelming odds, how about I hit a lottery jackpot today".
We can go through life looking behind every tree for the waiting "bigfoot", or we can enjoy the shade of the forest. We can sit on an airplane watching the wing area for cracks, or we can partake of the bird's eye view of our planet, something the ancient Mayans weren't smart enough to accomplish. We can frown and look for trouble, or we can laugh and realize that the odds are for us to have a good day.
Oh it will rain at times, but often we come out of the rain a lot better off, maybe in ways we don't always notice at first. I'm not sure what happened to poor old Murphy, he probably got hit by a train.