So how about the weather?
Sometimes, just some, you may find yourself in that awkward situation when you suddenly run out of things to say. And it feels weird, because you want to say something to keep the conversation going, but just don’t know what. Then you just look around, at the sky for a while, and bang! there it is: “so how about the weather, eh?”. If there is one thing that is always reliable, it is talking about the weather – there is always something to say – about how warm or cold it is, how strange it is acting up, how different it is between countries, etc etc…
It is actually amazing at how much is being said about the weather, but how little is (or can) ever be done about it. Come to think about it, the weather dominates a large part of our lives: it is the final thing on the news for precisely that reason. You need to know what the weather will be like the next day(s) in order to prepare for your trip, to know what kind of clothes to wear, to know if you can organize that outdoor excursion you’re planning, or to even know if those clothes you’re washing can be hanged out to dry. Plus, it is quite an obvious fact that the ups and downs of the weather affect your mood and emotions. For example, it is commonly perceived that people living in Mediterranean countries where the sun shines for most of the year are generally more easy-going, happier, and more positive (well, at least until the economic crisis struck!). And it is also more likely to suffer depression or melancholy when it is dark, grey and raining.
Changes in metereological conditions, no matter how much they are criticized for resulting in unimaginative conversations, are, in any sense, a part of our lives. But discussions don’t have to be dominated by that. There are so many more things to talk about, but these are all based on conditionalities: for example, having similar interests and concerns, similar likes and hobbies, and agreeing at least on something, for no-one can engage in a long-lasting conversation if they disagree with their interlocutor on everything. That would be more reminiscent of a saloon fight than a civilized conversation. Either way, the beauty of a true democracy is that freedom of expression and opinion is a given, providing everyone with the opportunity of expressing their own ideas, views and values, in such a way so as to stimulate a healthy debate on issues that concern us all. That, after all, is the point of having a discussion: to enlighten yourself by exchanging views with others and understanding opinions different to your own. People today lack the ability to listen. Instead, everybody wants to talk. And in the end a quarrel ensues in which each side categorically insists on the validity of their own beliefs, completely disregarding that of others. People have forgotten how to respect difference, not only in appearance but also in the mind. Just because, there are some things in common for all does not mean that we should all think the same. After all we are not created as clones, nor built as robots. People are born unique, with their own set of ideas and mentalities. And discussions help maintain and improve this, while opening-up close-minded visions to a wider part of the world.
And besides, if you’re ever stuck in that weird situation where you’re just not in the mood for a fight, or have no more ideas to share, well…there’s always the weather!