“What’s it s’posed to be like today?” they ask. It’s totally understandable why they do – in Michigan, especially in August. Summer dwindles. Most are hoping for sun and heat, and crisp and starry nights. For a decent sized minority (who would die in New Orleans or even D.C. or St. Louis), they’re “hoping it won’t be so humid.” Up on Mackinac Island – as Pure Michigan as you can get – I don’t ask, look, or even wonder what it’s supposed to be like. For too long, the predictions have been wrong as often as they’re right. But there’s a bigger reason why it matters not what they say it’s supposed to be like.
That reason comes beautifully expressed in this quote from the German writer Goethe that my friend Joe D sent me about the weather, broadly speaking:
I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.
Funny, that Goethe calls it a “frightening” conclusion. I guess some little part of us would rather leave the thanks or the blame to chance or to Willard Scott or Al Roker, rather than create our own climate. We’re scared a little of the fact that we might have that power and responsibility. But gray skies or blue, we possess the power “to inspire. . . humor. . . heal . . . humanize [and] help [others] become what they are capable of becoming!”
So, what’s it gonna be like today, if you
Lead with your best self?