AND Check the Insulation

November 3rd, 2013

 Today the sun was shining. Although I had planned several other activities, it was too nice to stay inside. I decided to wash the windows. I put on my sweatshirt, gathered my Windex and pail, and went outside. I was immediately struck by how mild it was. AND I was immediately aware of how insulated I am from the outside temperatures when I am in my home. AND that got me thinking.

If you are lucky enough to live in a place with good insulation, then you don’t feel the extreme temperatures. The harsh cold winds could as easily be refreshing breezes for all you actually experience of the outside temperature when in a well-insulated home. The illusion created by only looking out the window may be of a warm sunny day, when the actual temperatures are anything but warm. Or you might assume the outside to be cold when a step outside allows the experience of more warmth than you had imagined, or than the calendar or quick glance out the window might suggest.

It’s also true that if your home does not have good insulation, then you are acutely aware of all of the extremes in temperature. AND that lack of insulation might make you vulnerable to severe conditions. In some ways, many people who work in toxic work environments lack the appropriate insulation (whether physical or psychological) to ward off the toxicity. Over time, it permeates their physical and emotional well-being. On another more literal level, many people in our country and others do not have access to well-insulated homes, and some to any homes at all. If they do have a home, many lack the resources to heat or cool them sufficiently to create healthy environments for themselves.

I got to thinking about how insulated any one of us can be from the lives of others. Those with secure jobs, great health, and access to whatever resources produce a comfortable life are often insulated from the harsh living conditions faced by so many others. Many people cannot feed their families, pay the rent, or find a job that pays the bills. AND I wonder what it takes to create and live in a society that chooses not to be insulated from the lives of others that are very different from our own.

The purpose of insulation, both literally and metaphorically, is protection. On one hand, when we consciously choose to insulate ourselves from the constant barrage of media messages, lure of titles and power, AND instead stay connected to our hearts, we are choosing to be very well and effectively insulated. Whatever insulation we put in place to preserve the connection with the truth of our hearts would be effective insulation, serving us as individuals and the collective because we are doing what it takes to bring the best of ourselves to life. On the other hand, many people get lost in the race for power, title, and things and insulate themselves from the needs of surrounding communities and neighbors, as well as from the truth of their hearts.

Certain kinds of insulation can prevent the truth from getting in. (Any form of denial of what is would fit this description.) The invitation is to get outside our comfort zones and experience what we are creating in our individual and collective world. Remove whatever insulates us from seeing what is real and true, however inconvenient or uncomfortable. AND we can only do so if we stop to check the insulation to make sure it is truly protecting the highest and best of who we can be and not blocking us from becoming a society where protection from harm, violence, and harsh elements is extended to all.

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