AND Cool Off

July 23rd, 2017

On a blistery hot day at the beach, I noticed the variety of activities going on. There were children digging in the sand, people riding boogie boards in the surf, games of catch and Frisbee, and many adults either walking the beach, reading, or playing bocce. AND it was quiet.

People were happy. They moved around each other with nods, smiles, and ease. Any adult walking close to the surf knew to keep eyes peeled for running children who would otherwise drench them on the way in or out of the water. All simply moved around each other gently, often laughing and smiling as they passed.

The scenario reminded me of the work of physicist David Bohm. Bohm found that molecules move easily around each other with very little collision, when they were cool. When the temperature heats up, however, they collide, sometimes quite explosively.

AND I got to thinking that his description applies directly to human interaction. When we feel centered, calm, and at peace, we accommodate other people and their activities in our environments with ease. We make space for others who do things differently. We sometimes become curiously entertained by the antics of those different from us, making space to just observe. Or, we may pay no attention to differences or others inhabiting the same space, as we are so content in our own activity.

However, when we feel insecure, scared, or uncertain, the very same context shifts to one of collisions, hot tempers, quick judgments, and refusal to see and accommodate others and differences. We forget how to share space for our collective health and enjoyment.

Maybe, in days where so much of our news is polarizing and judgmental and where stress levels at work are high, we would do well to cool off. It would serve us individually and the greater if we would find something that re-centers us, brings us peace, and reminds us that this world is big enough for all of us.

AND when we cool off, we will move around each other with ease, accommodating each other’s path as we go on our way.

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