Friday, November 2, 2012

What Value is in Your Basement?

I just saw an article about how many years of scientific research has likely been washed away by Sandy.  One of the things that I found most interesting was the part toward the end that talks about how much of the research lost was in the basement.  Apparently there have been other losses in other hurricanes in similar situations.

It got me thinking about how in general we look at basements.  A friend of mine was looking at houses, and said something to the agent about how he was surprised that in advertisements for houses, unfinished basements are not mentioned.  Her response/reasoning for this was that they don't have any value.

I found that odd.  I know many people who have a basement that has lots of value.  It gives them extra space to work with.  It can be where they do their laundry.  It can be where they store stuff. It can have all kinds of uses.  How does that not equate to value?

But...putting the practical aside, and pulling out the metaphor...

When I think about how we value things, it seems to me that some things may be relegated to the "basement."  And when I say things here, I don't necessarily mean tangible things, although they could certainly be included, as it is based on the value we place on them, and the resulting way we treat them.  I am thinking of "things" like relationships.

How often do we do something or say something or be a certain way about something that basically says, "I think this is important" but then it gets put into the basement in the activities of our daily life?  We SAY it is important, but then we don't do what we can to pay attention to it and do what we can to protect it.

There may be the illusion that it is protected, as it is given a space within our world. But it is likely less protected in the basement that it is anywhere else we may put it.  It is also a place we tend to forget about more often than most, only to be reminded of it in times of trouble, like flooding. Flooding, which in this metaphor may related to a flood of emotions or circumstances that require our full attention suddenly and unexpectedly.  Maybe someone in our life feels ignored and feels the need to get attention by causing a "storm" of trouble.

It makes me wonder what I store in my basement.  What do I value that isn't paid attention to? What might have I forgotten about? What might I have put away for "safe keeping" only to have it in more danger?

Part of me wonders if it could be...ME.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. Your last line brought it home... nicely. Thank you.