The Power of The Mind, Relatively Speaking That Is

The power of the mind never ceases to amaze me, particularly in regards to the relative outlook on everything us Homo sapiens have. What brings such a notion to mind is of course the weather and my recent, bizarre, behavior modifications regarding it. Just this morning I wore a hoodie to work. It was about 75 degrees out and overcast. I wore a hoodie. Somebody call Medical.

It would seem that my mind has adapted to my climate, though that doesn’t change the fact that I was sweating a bit on the 4 minute walk from my house to the lab. It’s not that I don’t sweat, or shiver, those being the fixed bodily responses to hyperthermia or hypothermia. Instead, it’s that my mind no longer registers them as discomforts. My first, “autumn,” (that’s what I nostalgically call March through May) in Mombasa, I chuckled every time I saw one of my students wearing their NYS-issued sweaters, shoulder patches and all. It was 75 degrees out and they were cold. Now I understand it.

Yes, there is such a thing as a specific, measurable temperature. But simply because it is measurable does not mean all of us will react the same and in fact, as we adjust our lives in such a way that reaction is no longer necessary based on our old behavior model, we simply adjust our behavior. It seems that the absoluteness in existence resides not in the reaction itself, but more the need to react.

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One response to “The Power of The Mind, Relatively Speaking That Is

  1. Suzie

    This reminds me of when my co-workers make fun of me when I say it’s cold here in Southern California.

    Keep in mind, I’ve lived in Korea, Switzerland, Minnesota, Massachusetts and New York (Buffalo, to be exact). Yet, in the 10 years I’ve lived here, my tolerance for cold has decreased greatly. Sixty-five degrees is way too cold now! But 110 (as it gets in the summer here) is too hot, as well.

    I guess I’m just doomed.