larry Banman – Two types of people: like night and day
September 10, 2009
Some people hit the ground running in the morning while others require a jolt of caffeine just to get their eyelids cracked open in the morning.
There are those who can dance the night away while others wander around in a zombie-like stupor as soon as the sun drops below the horizon.
I think one of the most basic differences we have as a human race is the division of our species into two groups called, “morning-people” and “night-people.” Perhaps the best way to define where you or somebody else falls is to define how you feel about sunrises and sunsets. The morning person is energized by sunrises and, generally, views a sunset as the culmination of another day. When a night owl sees a sunrise, they discover where the sun comes from and they view a sunset as the time for the real day to start.
There are, of course, factors that push people into one camp or the other. Employment can determine whether you get up with the chickens or roost with the owls. Since I have apparently had trouble maintaining steady employment, I have had the pleasure of having worked days and nights. There is a distinct culture associated with each of those working environments. One of the most interesting things I discovered about an urban setting is that the change between those two working environments occurs between 3-4 a.m. As an aside, New York City is truly the “city that never sleeps.” Everything you can envision doing during the day is available during the night. At least that was the case in 1974.
Another given is that each faction of our species finds the other to be extremely annoying or, at best, barely tolerable. A chipper “morning person” threatens his or her well-being by being overly exuberant around a “night owl.” No matter what words emit from the mouth of Mr. Early Bird, they will not find a comfortable roost in the eardrums of somebody has heard of breakfast but can’t really define the concept. Conversely, if you are a person who rarely sees the 10 o’clock news, few things are as painful as somebody who simply will not shut up as your eyelids play the windowshade game.
In a perfect society, both types of people are valuable. The early birds open the gates to the day and make sure we have donuts at 5 a.m. The night owls watch over us while we sleep, they make sure our gates are secure and they clean up the mess that the rest of the world left during the day. It really is a good system.
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The problem arises when a project calls for members from each faction to work together on something often called a committee. The early birds want to get a jump on things with sunrise meetings. Ask a night owl to one of those meetings and all you will get is “WHERE’S THE COFFEE!!” Put an early-riser in a night meeting and, between nods, mostly what you get are interesting leaps in logic and rationale as “morning dude” searches frantically for something called an adjournment.
In an urban environment, people have the ability and option of choosing people of similar sleep patterns. That is why you can find a Rotary Club meeting in Denver at virtually any time of the day. In a smaller setting, there isn’t that luxury. As with most things in small-town America understanding and compromise enter the equation. And that, to me, is what makes for a better balance in the decision-making process.
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