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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weather: The Great Equalizer

Last week, while walking along the outside of Madison Square Park in Manhattan, a funny little thing happened. It was a hot, sunny day. There were very few clouds, save for the giant one directly above me and the rest of Midtown East/Chelsea… and then it started to rain. Not an incessant rain, nor even a scattered shower. It was like the cloud had to wring off a little bit after a quick dip in the pool. 

Everyone around me looked up in awe, smiled, and went along their day, except one guy who and a confused look on his face and told me, “Dude, it’s raining.” 

I had to stop right there and take a note. Weather is the great equalizer. It affects everyone no matter if you’re rich, poor, child, adult, etc. 

When conversation gets awkward or when folks run out of things to talk about, the default topic is almost always the weather. In some cases when the subject is brought up, there are certain people who will get angry about what the weather is doing, a thing they can’t control, and they’ll let it ruin their day. 

But there’s no escaping the elements. Rather, people bring tools with them to avoid the weather (an umbrella), or build tools to protect them from the weather (a storm shelter). 

Because of the inventions of people who came before us, because of mentors, because of common sense; I—we get to choose how weather affects us. I didn’t  bring an umbrella because I forgot to check the 36 hour forecast, I figure out how to remember to consistently check the forecast so I don’t get drenched on the way to work. The snow is interrupting my outdoor basketball charity benefit, I don’t get mad, we find an indoor court and move the game.

The weather is a great teacher. We are constantly having to adjust to the whim and will of mother nature but forget the things we’ve learned from her when its time to apply those practical lessons to life, business, creativity, etc. The simplest changes yield the biggest results (i.e. pop open that umbrella). Look to the skies and the temperature around you. How did you adjust last time? Is it time to bring out the raincoat, the snow shoes, or is it better to be huddled inside with some people you love?