Does the weather affect you from day to day? I’d guess that, at the very least, your clothing choice depends on the weather to some extent – and perhaps your choice of transport and activities does as well.
I’m certainly more inclined to get stuck into the garden, walk or use public transport in dry weather – and most enthusiastic about it in spring, once the rain’s gone and before the heat starts to bite.
Weather does seem to act as a happiness barometer for most of us. No matter how satisfied we are initially with the changing seasons, we soon start grumping about the temperature (too hot, too cold, too variable), the humidity, the rain (or lack thereof), the wind, etc. It’s an endless source of meaningless background social noise.
Nevertheless, I find that people are generally chirpier on warm, sunny days than on cold, drizzly ones. Perhaps we’re more inclined interact positively with our surroundings and with other folk on pleasantly sunny days, than when it’s very cold (or hot). If this is so, does the weather also affect our levels of altruism?
In November last year I started planning our epic family Xmas gathering. It takes a fair bit of resource management and people wrangling, so I tend to start early to avoid the last minute panic-factor. Then I came across an article on something called the reverse advent calendar. It made me stop and think: about resources, about good fortune, about family – and about the staggering number of people who have so much less.
I discovered that 1 in 200 people in Australia are homeless and that over two million people are dependent on food donations in order to survive. Considering how relatively affluent Australia is, that rocked me rigid.
Donating one food item per day for the advent period (the four weeks leading up to Xmas) sounded like a great idea. It was something simple, tangible and practical that my family could get behind. So I set up a mini food collection programme and, just before Xmas, DaughterDearest and I delivered our combined advent donations to Foodbank.
We all felt a little glow of achievement, of having done something – however small – for people less fortunate than ourselves. It was a good way to start our Xmas celebrations.
But of course people are hungry and homeless all year round, not just at Xmas. So it seemed like a logical next step to set up a quarterly food drive and invite others to join in. A number of people got involved and we’ve made two deliveries of food donations to Foodbank so far this year.
These deliveries are partly what prompted my question, because I delivered 55kg of food on 31 March (a bright sunny day) and 25kg on 30 June (a cold rainy day).
This does seem indicate that people may be more inclined to be generous in good weather. Perhaps it makes us feel cheerful and encourages a more outward focus? Or could it be that, as a community initiative, the food drive really only worked as a one-of?
Either way, we’ve been gradually filling up some boxes and I’ll be heading back out to Foodbank again at on 30 September to deliver our next quarterly contribution. It doesn’t really matter how much food I take along. Every single item will be appreciated by someone, somewhere.
If you’d like to get involved in our food drive – even if all you can donate is a single can of beans – let me know. Join our Facebook group to keep track of what’s happening, if you like.
You’re most welcome to pop past our place to drop your contribution off, just ping me to let me know. Stay for a cuppa if you have time 🙂