• Martha Clark Scala

The Merits of Exposure

Updated: Oct 4, 2019


March, 2018


Is There Joy in Insurance?

“Yes, we can write the office exposure.”

Legal lingo is almost as disorienting as Japanese to me. Once I deciphered what this sentence meant—that I could purchase a general liability policy to protect me from certain types of risk at my office—I couldn’t stop thinking about the word, exposure.

Should we avoid exposure as if it is a flu-ridden kid who coughs without covering his mouth? I’m guessing an insurance broker would say yes. A financial advisor would probably agree.

But I say … wait a minute, it depends!

Toxic gases or substances can be life threatening. It’s a no-brainer that exposure should be prevented, if possible.

What about exposure to toxic people? I sure as heck wouldn’t sign up for that, would you?

But then there’s sun exposure. Excessive time in the sun, especially if you are unprotected, can be a very bad thing. However, the sun is a very important source of Vitamin D, which promotes bone growth and boosts our immune system.

So is the sun good or bad? I believe it’s both and that is what got me to consider the merits of certain kinds of exposure.

“People are caught by surprise when it is time to die.

They have allowed themselves to live so little."

~ Stephen Levine

Imagine a life so protected from danger that it takes away all your joy. For example, injuries or death can occur if you drive a car, ride a bicycle, or take public transportation. Does that mean you will stop going anywhere with wheels? I doubt it.

Parents send their children off to school where there is plenty of exposure to risk. But kids benefit from learning, playing and socializing with their peers. Some parents choose to home school their children for various reasons, but most do not. Advantages of school attendance seem to outweigh the perils.

Without some exposure, aren’t we at greater risk of leading drab, antiseptic or joyless lives? At some point, we have to accept that there is no insurance coverage that can protect us from everything. We can either bemoan this fact or we can be prudent in assessing risks while still exposing ourselves to that which brings us joy . . . like art, nature or athletic competition.

Back in the 1970’s, ABC’s Wide World of Sports summed it up so well in the introduction to the weekly TV show that showcased various athletic contests: “Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport! The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!”

If we want the thrills, we may have to weather some agony. Even if no insurance policy can protect us from various types of agony, I think the joys and thrills are worth some exposure. I bet all Olympians (not just the medal winners) who competed in PyeongChang, South Korea this winter would agree.

Insurance is a good thing. It may not give me joy to pay the premium for “office exposure” coverage, but it does give me one less thing to worry about!


Comments on this blog post are welcome — see the bottom of this page.

Prompts For Joy

Click here to join three kids singing their way to school with Dad.

Click here to expose yourself to both comedy and art.

Click here for all previous Prompts for Joy.

Pictured Above

Humorous art found at a roadside stop on Highway 5 in Firebaugh, California.