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How weather can be a conduit to kindness. (approx. 400 words)

Submitted:Apr 5, 2012    Reads: 20    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Heating Up

Warm weather, even hot oppressive weather, usually conveys a sense of summer; frivolity, boat drinks, camaraderie, even a siege mentality, the kind that happens in the snow states the morning after a big snowstorm, where a community shovel-out brings a neighborhood together. Weather may be the single aspect of life, other than dying, that every human shares. It is a cosmic way to connect with our fellow man, even if only to silently offer the guy across the street a cold beer while he mows his lawn in 95 degree heat, all the while basking in your air conditioned living room.

Think about the stories of incredible kindness and unselfishness you read and hear about after a real natural disaster occurs. People truly do pitch in and help complete strangers. Empathy may be the underlying concept to this, and that is usually not a bad premise from which to act. Weather often proves to be fertile ground upon which people plant genuine kindness. The older woman down the street who, in warm weather, struggles getting her garbage cans to the curb for pick up, I'm there, like clockwork, offering a hand. As are most people, I would hope. For those who live in snow country, it is almost cliché to help the elderly out by shoveling a driveway, or digging a car out, all the while having to do the same for yourself. Weather can be a window through which one can look and see some of the most appealing aspects of the human condition.

It is all too easy, especially in our increasingly irresponsible, hell-bent for bacchanalia, culture, to focus on where we fall short, across the board. And though it may take more effort, and maybe a super mute button pointed constantly toward our culture, the effort will prove worth it. The goodness is out there, and the true, day to day goodness, the tear-inducing acts of kindness, are not usually on the reality TV shows, which merely mirror more bad behavior by people confusing 15 minutes of shame with 15 minutes of fame, neither an admirable goal.

Hot summer weather, perfect spring and fall weather, and even the chilly winter months, all contain multiple reasons to connect with each other. The entire calendar year, from the standpoint of weather, presents opportunities to water the tree of humanity and watch it grow.


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