In the office, we set the thermostat according to the temperature indicated on the thermometer. On airplanes, temperatures are also adjusted according to thermometers. When we go out in the morning, we check the thermometer and dress accordingly. It seems that our everyday lives are closely linked to the thermometer.
The purpose of the thermometer is to measure the temperature. Similarly, human attitudes can also be measured; from facial expressions, words, and body language, we can forecast the “weather” of a person. We can see if it is sunny, overcast, or cloudy with occasional showers. When parents come home from work, their children can tell from their faces what the “weather” is like. If the parents are in a good mood, then the house is sunny with gentle breezes. The whole family is filled with warmth. But when the parents are very stern, their children become cautions, avoiding the brewing storm.
Just as thermometers are capable of measuring temperatures, we also have mental thermometers for measuring the phenomena of the world. Our mental thermometers can measure the climate of politics, the economy, and even the warmth and coldness of human relations. These can be observed by using these thermometer inside our minds.
Some may state that thermometers are inaccurate, that there are discrepancies between their readings and actual temperatures. Similarly, our mental thermometers may be off the mark. Just as there are different grades of thermometers, mental thermometers also vary in quality. High-quality thermometers are sensitive and thorough in their measurements. Because of this, they are able to make accurate forecasts from minor and seemingly inconspicuous data.
Thermometers can be used for more than measuring others. They can be used for measuring ourselves. Our own temperature should not be zero degrees at one moment and a hundred degrees the next. Neither should we have a sunny morning, a cloudy afternoon, and then finish off with a thunderstorm in the evening. Such unpredictable and fluctuating moods and temperament make it impossible for others to get along with us.
Generally speaking, room temperature is a comfortable 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, air conditioners are set accordingly. When we use an electric fan, we should not turn it on too high or too low. We turn it to the middle setting in order to be cool and comfortable. We should set our own temperature just as we do the air conditioners or electric fans. It should not be too warm or cold. When it is turned on too high, others will find it too warm for their liking. When it is too low, they will find it too cold to bear. But if we set it at the “middle path” of 75 degrees, then the whole family, including all our friends and relatives, will be able to appreciate the temperate air with us. We will be welcomed and accepted by everyone.