Sunday, December 14, 2008

Physics & Human Nature

Physics and human nature have lot many similarities. We are aware of Newton’s laws of motion and its applications. But do we know these laws apply to human nature as accurately as it applies to Physics.

Newton’s First law of motion:

Every body persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by force impressed on it.

According to this law an object remains in state of inertia or in uniform motion till an external agency forces it to change its state. This external agency is known as a force. Similarly we do not change our state of affairs unless and until a force is applied on us. We do not take initiative or an action till we are compelled to do so. We do not change our line of action either till the time a force compels us to change it. This force could be due to our own will or could be the influence of someone else.

Now the question arises what is that force which forces us to change. This is the willingness to change. In other words it is our ‘Motivation’. Without ‘Motivation’ nobody moves or does any thing. According to one hypothesis the word ‘Motivation’ has come from a word ‘Motus’, which in English means movement. This explains the fact that no movement takes place in us and we remain in state of inertia till our motivation forces us to do so. But this theory does not explain why we keep doing an act repetitively. This is once again due to our motivation.

A better explanation comes about the origin of word ‘Motivation’ from the word ‘Motive’. According to this hypothesis, there is always a motive behind each and every act of a person. Without a motive we do not take any action. The reason for our state of inertia i.e. not taking any action could be due to the inhibition or simply lack of interest in that particular act. This also explains why we always act in a certain manner or keep doing an act repetitively.

Even the premise of ‘Court of Justice’ is based upon it. According to law, the origin of word ‘Crime’ is from a word ‘Mansrea’. In English ‘Mansrea’ means ‘guilty mind’. Therefore, according to ‘Indian Penal Code’ a person is not to be penalized a death or life sentence under section ‘IPC – 302’ even if he/she had committed a murder but in self-defense. On the other hand the same person may be penalized under section ‘IPC – 307’ a rigorous imprisonment for 7 years for just aiming a gun on somebody if his/her motive was to kill him i.e. an attempt to murder.

Excerpts from the book: ‘Why My Horse Doesn’t Drink – Learn to motivate people around you

Vivek Mehrotra

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