We’ve had unseasonably warm weather in North Texas this fall. No one should be surprised at this, because our weather is always “unseasonably” something. When it isn’t unseasonably hot, it’s unseasonably cool. Rainfall? Either unseasonably wet or unseasonably dry.
Today’s sad tale revolves around this really cute old thermometer from my grandmother’s town. My parents still had it, and I kept it for sentimental reasons (just as I’m keeping an unconscionable number of other old family items). Not wanting to throw away something so cute and useful, we mounted it outside on a wall of our patio.
One warm day while we were hanging out on the patio, we checked the outdoor temperature, which read 78 degrees (Fahrenheit), as shown in the photo. It felt warmer than that, so I looked on my phone app and found we were actually at 86 degrees.
“That thermometer doesn’t work any more,” Brent said. “We might as well get rid of it.”
I protested. “But it’s a closed glass tube! How can it malfunction? It isn’t even an appliance!” (eye twitch)
In an effort to save its cuteness, I tried pushing the glass tube up so that the red filling lined up with the correct temperature, 86 degrees.
Then I looked closely at the bottom of the tube. The bulb was lined up in the middle of the square, where it’s supposed to be. I realized that the tube had simply slipped down out of place.
The thermometer was working fine. The problem was that we didn’t have it properly lined up against the objective standard of the markings.
The same thing happens when we form opinions and beliefs without holding our ideas against a standard of truth. If we don’t have all the facts, it’s too easy to combine speculation with our biases and end up believing the wrong thing.
Not that I wouldn’t prefer the temperature to be 78 degrees…
Thanks for reading,