Aside from the stomach ache I had last night, Pig Out in the Park was awesome. Good friends. Good food. Good times. Most GU students have pretty fond memories of Pig Out since it is one of the first things that newly formed freshmen friend groups do as part of their college experience.
When we walked down, the weather was really nice. After a stunning sunset, however, it started pouring rain and we hid under a large tent. I was fully prepared to just walk back to campus in the rain, but as for everyone else this was not the case at all. It got me thinking about why people dislike the rain.
Simply put, I would say that people dislike rain because it is uncomfortable. Rain makes you cold, it messes up your hair, it covers your glasses with droplets, it makes the ground muddy, it makes you smell bad, and it can mess up your clothes. People are almost always going to choose comfort over discomfort.
It is widely understood that growth requires a certain amount of discomfort. This is true from both a psychological and spiritual perspective. But as much as people are constantly challenging us to step out of our comfort zones, I would argue that most of us do a pretty lousy job of it.
The imagery of rain at Pig Out inspired me to think about comfort zones in a new way: instead of stepping out of your comfort zone, start thinking about staying in your discomfort zone. During the comfortable period of weather at Pig Out in the Park, stepping out of out my comfort zone would have required me to first seek out something uncomfortable and then go for it. The rain, however, was a discomfort that provided me with two options: 1) Seek comfortable refuge, or 2) Stay in my discomfort and welcome it.
As beneficial as it may be to seek discomfort in life, the truth is that plenty of discomfort will come our way whether we seek it or not. The only reason people need to step out of their comfort zones is because they hide in them to begin with. My philosophy is that you should always just stay the in zone weather it is comfortable or not (pun intended). If it’s comfortable, enjoy it! If it’s uncomfortable, welcome it!
That being said, there was also the fact that we probably would have been struck by lightening if we had walked home in the rain. So who knows …