By Max Ferrandino
Would you rather live in a world where it is always too hot or always too cold? Not to the point of death, but just uncomfortable enough for you to notice and be affected by it. Personally, I would rather live in a world where it is too hot.
You might wonder why I, a Boston-native who has suffered through frozen winters for all 19 years of my life, would ever make such a choice. Why would I rather be hot than cold? My answer has nothing to do with the weather itself, but rather the state of mind that comes with it.
In the cold, you can hide, but in the warmth, you cannot.
Literally, you can hide because you are forced to shrug on more layers to face the cold. If my family had one maxim, it would be, “It’s not cold, you’re just not wearing enough layers” — even when it’s zero degrees Fahrenheit and snowing out.
Figuratively, it is easier to lie when it’s cold out. The lies don’t have to be big — for example, saying “I’m not cold” when you actually are. It’s a lot easier to get away with a white lie such as that when you’re actually cold versus when you’re too hot. People can generally tell you are lying when you are sweating from the heat.
Big lies can be told too — there’s a reason cuffing season happens from October to Valentine’s Day. It seems to be easier to ride out the cold months with someone you actually like than in the warm months.
However, there are certain benefits to living in the cold. It is easier to drink hot beverages when it’s cold out rather than when it’s warm. For those of us who enjoy drinking hot coffee, it is one of the few delights winter brings.
You’re also able to stay inside more in the winter — with genuine excuses such as “there’s six inches of snow on the ground” rather than benign reasons such as “it’s too hot” or “it’s too sunny.” As a result, you don’t have to work out as much — there’s no beach body to hastily prepare. And while I do enjoy exercising, there is a profound joy in just being lazy in the winter: sitting around, reading and doing nothing else.
Furthermore, the cold often sharpens your wits. Stay in the heat for too long, and your thoughts get muddled and lazy. This is a common belief. I have seen people go swimming in freezing water to clear their mind and feel more alive. In trying to play devil’s advocate, I realized how insane that idea is. There are many other ways to boost your brainpower that allow you to stay warm and dry.
Before you’re swayed by the advantages of the cold, let me ask you this: If there were to be an afterlife and you ended up going to your version of hell, would it be hot or cold?
For me, it would be cold because that is the temperature range I enjoy the least.
Objectively, too, hell appears to have a cold front. In Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno,” he proposes the ninth layer of hell is cold — so cold there’s a frozen lake, which can only exist at or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the Biblical version of hell, there’s also a lake of sulfur, meaning at least some part of hell exists below 832 degrees Fahrenheit — the temperature at which sulfur turns from liquid to gas.
In addition, most of the places referred to as “hell” around the world are generally cold, such as Hell, Michigan. or Hell, Norway. The notable exceptions of this phenomenon are Hell, California and Hell, Grand Cayman Islands.
Being cold is clearly worse than being hot, and while I understand there are some who might argue the opposite, hell would likely be a cold place where the damned freeze, not burn.