The sauna was ok but not great. I instantly knew what was wrong as I joined two others in the heat. I also knew that good sauna manner dictated that I should not suggest any immediate actions. Specifically, the rules of etiquette dictated that I should allow myself to be fully immersed in the heat so that an action, like putting water on the rocks, was taken in context. I have been the recipient of bad matters enough times that following the protocol was a natural response.
As I let the heat wash over me, I listened to the banter between friends. Each was trying to convince the other that they knew the most about saunas. Additionally, they were reveling in their ability to take on the intensity. I smiled within, patiently waiting for a good moment to join in the conversation.
“Is this your first time in this sauna?”
“Yes. We are new to the experience! We love it.”
“That’s good. Would you like to take it up a notch?”
“Is that possible? We already put a lot of water on the rocks, frequently!”
“I can feel that you have. What were you trying to do?”
“Make everything hotter.”
“Would you like me to help you?”
I put my hand in the bucket of water that was left. Even now it was still cold to the touch. “Just a moment, let me get some hot water.”
As I returned, they looked at me puzzled. “One never wants to waste the heat that is already here by using cold water. Ready?”
I turned away from them and began splashing water on the dry walls. The humidity instantly began to climb, overwhelming everyone with an intense heat wave.
It was as if I had turned a switch, flipping from ignorance to informed. Sometimes people learn. On other occasions they stay focused on the wrong things, echoing David’s observation; “The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good.” (Psalm 34.21)
They did not last long. “Thank-you! No wasted moves on our part next time.”