Yesterday, as you know, we observed Earth Hour at 8:30pm. This is my introvert’s dream as far as demonstrations go. I mean that literally – I turn everything off, shut down my power bars, unplug the microwave, assure the dog that we’re fine and then daydream or think or plan for an hour or so. I didn’t have to go out in crowds. I didn’t have to wave a sign. I didn’t have to yell or chant. I didn’t have to roar approval of speeches.
And yet, I made a difference. As I looked out my apartment window, I could see lights flicking out all over the city. That’s the part I like best – immediate gratification – I can see that we’re actually accomplishing something.
But I got a surprise. My upstairs neighbours are not introverts. Their first choice is not gentle silence and dream weaving. Their first choice is inviting great crowds to celebrate Earth Hour with them. I got the impression it was their entire extended family – certainly those were children dancing, or maybe jumping on and off sofas.
The great event began early for them, at 7pm. They turned their sound system super-loud; my walls and floor were vibrating, not only with the bass but also with the lyrics, which is unusual. They laughed and caroused and be-bopped until 8:30pm – the Earth Hour. Then they turned everything off – and got out their own instruments. They sang and laughed and partied and jumped on and off sofas for an hour. At 9:30pm, they went back to carousing with electricity. Mercifully, at 10pm they turned everything off and went home (10pm is the cut-off point for noise in my building).
So I didn’t get to dream weave during Earth Hour. I pondered the different approaches of introverts and extraverts and wondered how we could enjoy each other.