Today was a beautiful day for a jog through Brooklyn. Running through McCarran Park in Greenpoint, I couldn’t help but notice all of the people sitting out on benches and laying out in the sun. Some of them were playing soccer on the field, some of them were playing handball on the basketball courts, but most of them were just laying out and doing nothing, silently enjoying the comfortable warm weather.

The sun felt good on my face and I too sat down and took in the day – it got me thinking about how warm weather affects the development of society. Warm climates, because they are comfortable, seem to foster a certain sense of complacency and happiness. Warm weather definitely feels better than cold weather, but is the short term satisfaction of basking in the sun detrimental to long term societal development? Cold climates, because they are uncomfortable, require innovation for survival and innovation spurs the development of technology and science. Evidence to this point can be seen in the fact that most of the worlds advanced civilizations have developed in cold climates. Additionally, on a different level, when hearing the life stories of remarkable individuals it seems that they all share the commonality of enduring difficult and uncomfortable life events – in fact, they revel in what they have overcome.

On several levels there seems to be evidence to suggest that discomfort and inconvenience leads to innovation and long term success. Based on this evidence should we then make ourselves as uncomfortable as possible?

Comfort
  • Eve Eifler

    Interesting thought. In child development, periods of disequalibrium preceed a child’s new skill aquisition which speaks to your theory.

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