Monday, November 7, 2011

The Pendulum Effect

Over the years I've seen many, many instances of lives in full Pendulum Effect. I'm not sure if there's another name for this phenomenon, but I've been calling it this for years and it seems to be an apt moniker. To understand the Pendulum Effect, one need only understand the basic workings of a pendulum.

Imagine a grandfather clock that has stopped ticking. The usually swinging pendulum is at complete rest; not moving side to side in either direction. This is where one should be when life is balanced. However, there are times in life when something shakes one to the core and causes the pendulum to swing. When this happens, the pendulum must swing to the extreme right and left before it slowly starts to settle back to the balance point.

Having grown up going to church, I saw many examples of the Pendulum Effect as those who were new to religion and spirituality would "turn from their life of sin". Often going from the extreme of one vice or another to the extreme of near religious fanaticism. I'm not making any pronouncements of religion or religious converts, it's simply the first time I recall seeing the Pendulum Effect so vividly illustrated.

As with all things, moderation should be the rule of thumb. Swinging to either extreme isn't the healthiest place for anyone to be for an extended amount of time. Hopefully, if one is self-aware, the smaller the swinging of the pendulum when something life-shaking comes along.

Recently, I've not only been an up-close witness to the Pendulum Effect, but was almost caught up in the emotional free-fall created by another's inability to see the fanatical extreme turn his life and choices have taken. Sadly, communication has become the casualty, but I'm hopeful that one day soon that pendulum will settle back down to the balance point. Until then, I press on doing what's best for me.

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