A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

The Fear of Dirt

Aha!  Moment Monday

I think it’s a case of mistaken identity.
I’m talking about germs.

We think we are protecting ourselves from the little buggers with hand sanitizers and avoiding contact when, in fact, we might be doing more harm than good.

You see, every surface in the world is covered in bacteria….and humans need bacteria to live.

In a post about germ obsession by Erin Brodwin, she writes, “Like the surfaces people touch and the ground they walk on, the human body is already teeming with thousands of different species of bacteria, from the Lactobacillus acidophilus lining digestive tracts to the Propionibacterium acnes populating the skin on faces and arms. On average, about three pounds of our body weight is accounted for by bacteria alone.”

Brodwin cites that of the 600 species of microbes found by a team of geneticists on a NYC subway train, most were harmless.

Further, according to the “Hygiene Hypothesis”, increased exposure to particular viruses, parasites, or bacteria at an early age actually helps the immune system to develop!

I can hear them now – the germaphobes in the crowd – questioning, “So when we shield ourselves from risk, we’re actually suppressing our ability to better handle things in the future??”

Aha! ~ No risk – no reward

The way in which you adopt a healthy immune system, as well as a healthy stay of confidence, resilience, tenacity, and ultimately growth, is by exposing yourself to the elements.

Steering clear of playgrounds of all sorts is like never risking change, criticism, travel, technology, or people who think differently. It may sound safe to live in avoidance, but “safe” doesn’t advance you. Daring to try something new, which may sometimes result in a short-fall relative to expectations, builds strength and knowing. It is the repeated exposure to risk that enhances your immunity to self-doubt and complacency and better equips you to expand yourself to increasing new levels.

The Merriam School of Music, regarded as one of the most innovative, comprehensive, and recognized schools in North America, includes in their practice that students perform at every age and skill level. Why? To not only take pride in their accomplishments but to get comfortable with putting themselves out there.

What are you willing to risk today in order to be that little bit closer to your most authentic self? Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty to get there.

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