- the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes
- The impetus gained by a moving object
- The impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events
About 300 metres to the junction, the traffic light changes to green so I do not need to stop. I cruise past the cars queued on the right lane, which are rousing from varied states of slumber. I do not remove my foot from the gas pedal on my way home, save once. My confidence grows at each succeeding intersection; red does not faze me. It is that kind of day; every light turns green as if anticipating my approach. “It’s a sign,” I say to myself, “So this is what momentum looks like?”
Traffic on Tuesday is unexpected. That cars on the slow lane crawl faster than cars on the speed lane bemuses me. I am undecided as to where I should be. I fix my lipstick and smack my lips using my sun visor mirror. The man in the car on my right smiles at me. I smile back and ease my Toyota in front of his Nissan. Life can be as easy as changing lanes. At every crossroad in my life, someone on the ‘fast’ lane has allowed me cut in ahead of him. Riding on their momentum, I arrived at my destination faster than I otherwise would have. Later, I look at the rear-view mirror and my eyes collide with a strange pair. It is as if the man who made room for me was never there.
When I receive a notification from WordPress that my stats are booming, I am surprised. On Saturday, even I rarely visit my blog because it is a distraction from the business of writing. Facebook is the culprit sending viewers my way. It happened that an acquaintance stumbled on a story on my blog and shared it with her friend who is a person of influence. He enjoyed the story and shared the link on his Timeline. Then his crowd came to see. In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell writes that we are actually powerfully influenced by our surroundings, our immediate context, and the personalities of those around us1. We rely on them [connectors] to give us access to opportunities and worlds to which we don’t belong2. Your friends, after all, occupy the same world that you do3. The number of views rise like the tide over the course of the evening. I reflect that the only thing I did was agonize over every single word of a short story for five nights before publishing it on a Sunday, weeks ago.
In the mythology of various cultures, man supplicates assistance from deities who guarantee success or reverse fortunes, from Zeus to Thor to Sango. If one subscribes to the Biblical narrative, one encounters a prophet, Elijah, running behind a king riding on a chariot. The king should arrive long before Elijah does for man is no match for horses. However, Elijah receives a boost in momentum from his God. He runs faster than the king’s chariot, a sight that may have made it to YouTube and gone viral, if it were today. Technological advances make reliance on deity a primitive concept for some. Man and the machines he has made have created momentum that carries him beyond the moon and back. But what is momentum for you? Wherever you anchor your belief, I wish you what I wish myself: that you consolidate the gains from the previous year and ride a new wave. Happy new momentum.
©Timi Yeseibo 2014
- Gladwell, Malcom, The Tipping Point, How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference, (London: Abacus/Time Warner Books, 2001), 259.
- Ibid., 54.
- Ibid., 54.
Photo credit: Acatana/ http://pixabay.com/en/highway-night-traffic-spotlight-409126/
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