Bandaids and Joy

When we get a minor cut, we might apply some antibiotic ointment and put on a bandaid. We care for the wound by replacing the band aid and checking for infection. Those are reasonable actions that help us heal. Once the cut heals, it’s reasonable to take off the band aid.

Have you ever been tempted to leave the band aid on once the cut fully heals? No? I mean, the band aid could serve as a layer of protection just in case you cut yourself in that spot again, right? So why not? I guess we only proactively guard ourselves with things like helmets, seat belts, knee pads, or safety gloves when we feel like the risk of getting hurt meets a certain threshold. In other words, we armor up when we feel vulnerable (thanks Brené).

If I continued to wear bandaids in every place I had ever cut myself, not only would I look atrocious, it would affect the sensitivity of what I could feel. Every one of my fingers would be wrapped. Playing piano would be difficult, and petting a dog wouldn’t feel the same. Yes, it would be safer, but at some point, muted joy is its own danger.