It’s all relative.

The entire universe does not abide by our rules.

Everything we’ve created to explain phenomena, like why we don’t fall off the planet and go floating into space, are just that: explanations. Creations. Widely-accepted creations.

Newton’s apple helped us understand the force that pulls everything toward the surface of the earth, that thing we now call “gravity.”

Someone had to come up with that word. That’s not just WHAT gravity is. It wouldn’t write “Gravity” on its nametag.

Mars has its own gravitational pull. If we grew up on Mars, we would understand gravity in a completely different way. However, as it stands, we Earthlings can only relate to it through our own experience.

Here, gravity pulls everything toward the earth at 9.807 m/s². On Mars, it’s about one-third of that. If we were Martians, we’d just think of it as normal., maybe even say that Earth has a gravitational pull three times ours. Although, we’d probably use the Martian word for it…

It’s all relative.

Albert Einstein came up with theories of relativity.

His theory of general relativity predicted that the space-time around Earth would be warped and twisted by the planet’s rotation. It’s, essentially, Earth’s effect on the universe.

In his theory of special relativity, Einstein determined that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers. You have two rocks. You hold one out at shoulder height and throw the other. The held rock will drop immediately, while the other will have a different set of factors—the force of the throw, the rock’s acceleration through the air, and gravity’s eventual effect on it.

Two objects exert a force of attraction on one another known as “gravity.” The force tugging between two bodies depends on how massive each one is and how far apart they are. Even as the center of the Earth is pulling you toward it (keeping you firmly lodged on the ground), your center of mass is pulling back at the Earth. The more massive body barely feels the tug, while the smaller mass finds itself firmly rooted thanks to that same force.

The relationship between people is not that different. We each have characteristics that have the potential to pull people toward us. When two people are super-incompatible, they repel (sometimes violently, sometimes amicably).

What draws each of us in is based on perception.

Perception of something changes depending on context. From a Christian’s perspective, Muslim teachings may not be compatible or attractive (and vice versa). To an atheist, it may all be irrelevant because their view of life isn’t based on a creator. And religious may not even be relevant when it comes to other topics.

Let’s relate it to sports.

Josh Hamilton may have been the greatest player in modern baseball. When you look at his numbers. When you look at what he did in games. If you look at the years he lost to drug abuse and injuries that may affect your opinion of his career. Maybe you look at it from the team owner’s perspective, thinking about ROI and value. Maybe you look at impactful performance to evaluate players. Maybe you care only as a fan of a team.

It all depends on how you look at things.

As I sit here and type, there’s a ruler visible through the clear plastic drawer of an organizing bin on my desk. Twelve inches. A foot. No big deal. What’s a foot to me?

But what’s a foot to an ant?

A threat.

It’s all relative.