There was an hour’s hailstorm near where I am last week. It was on the news and a couple of friends and I were discussing it. While it was normal for them, I was still surprised. The weather has been getting hot lately and a hailstorm was among the last things I expected. We discussed the hailstorm for a few minutes and moved on.
I conversed with an acquaintance who also owns a farm yesterday and asked him about the season. He said that things were a disaster for him and all the farmers in the region. The one hour hailstorm had wrecked their crops, destroyed their fields, and ensured they would have no harvest for the next six months. Following last year’s bumper year, many farmers had invested heavily into this season and were facing huge losses.
The same event can have very different implications on others. For us, the hailstorm was just a discussion topic. For others, it turned out to be an event that defined the year. There’s not much either could do about it – the weather is what it is. But, understanding this can go a long way in helping us develop a bit of empathy and think about others as we celebrate or as we mourn; and, hopefully, help us get over ourselves a bit. The same incident can mean different things to different people.