Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Thoughts on Relativity

One of the things I distinctly remember learning somewhere along the way in my homeschool education was the importance of absolute truth. We were taught the error in the modern concept of all truth being relative, no truth is absolute, etc. I've never forgotten that.

However, this does mean that every single thing in the universe falls into the category of absolute truth. While it is important to recognize that there do exist absolute truths in many important areas, we sometime fail to recognize the relativity of other areas. A quick illustration of relativity is how weather is viewed regionally. There never has and there never will be an absolute definition for what constitutes warm and cold. For someone living in New England, a 50 degree December day is warm. But for someone living down South, that is considered cold. Similarly, in Rhode Island, we get a 1/2 inch of snow and think "Wow, we got off easy!" In Texas, you get a 1/2 inch of snow and they call it a blizzard. (Okay slight exaggeration there! :) But I have lived in both states, so I am qualified to make these observations.)

I was musing the other day about gas prices. Last spring, around May I think, I distinctly remember not filling up my entire gas tank, because gas prices had risen to the $1.90s. I was waiting for it to fall back to the $1.70 range. [It never did.] Gas prices continued to rise slowly throughout the summer, until suddenly the Katrina disaster caused prices to spike practically overnight to over a dollar more per gallon. I went from thinking that $2.40/gallon was high, to being faced with paying $3.50/gallon. When gas dropped down to $3.10 range, it was a huge relief. Suddenly gas was cheap again. [Not.] So anyway, I was contemplating this the other day when I noted gas prices as low as $1.97/gallon. I was thinking to myself that this was amazingly cheap until suddenly I remembered last spring, when I had considered that price to be too expensive to fill up my entire tank. It's amazing how your perspective can change in just a few short months.