7436757736_79a9d7dc49_m{This is for all the 14-30 year-olds out there who are feeling suffocated by a lack of opportunity in their world. (possibly aka "a job with a future")}

The smog in Santiago is a downer.

Smoggy Santioggy.

We don't really know how harmful it is, but we big folks try to work around it with our exercise.

But ... kids gotta play. Every day.

It certainly brings a smile to all faces when someone announces, "It's super clear right now!" That's typically after a rain or a sustained wind -- both of which are rare as hens teeth here.

It's also hard to tell the difference between real "esmog" and the "fog" that often comes over the city.  This is a complex topic that I will discuss later if enough people bother me about it; we have a unique vantage point when it comes to air-quality watching.

But my thoughts about the smog have matured recently as I've watched Carman's life unfold. He is now five months into an opportunity that US minimum wage laws would have denied him, had he been there. He is scrambling and stressing every day, trying to please his superhero-seeming (when it comes to all things digital) Chilean boss.

And that's right where he needs to be.

It is good for a man to bear the yoke when he is young.

So, what does that have to do with the smog?

I am coming to see the smog as an indicator of opportunity. It represents the option of taking a risk. It represents immaturity, wildness, unregulated-ness.

London was a very smoggy, smoky place during the golden age of opportunity there. Likewise New York City.

Opportunity, like smog, can be dangerous.

Opportunity implies the freedom to fail and often comes without a safety net, harness, and airbag.

So, if you're looking for opportunity, consider following the smog: Santiago, Mexico City, Beijing...?

Thanks to Flickr's Bilobicles Bag for the image.