Wednesday, April 14, 2004

"Thinking Outside the Box"
by Salvador Gabor


During my college years, I remember people referring to a term/phrase that was catchy and cool to say. That term is "Thinking Outside the Box". From what I was told, the term dealt with the idea of ridding yourself of mental restraints. Eliminating the idea of being trapped in a small, narrow and straightaway mindset. "You gotta think outside of the box!". I bought into that system to a certain extent. You'd never see me in some psychodelic tye-dye shirt and a brown sport coat with some lowtop converse but, I did believe in expanding on my thought patterns.

But what is a box? A Box for some can be a restraint. A box could be a birdcage or a jail cell. A box could be a set of boundaries. Maybe a crib or a playpen for a child that cant be left unsupervised. A box can be the pager on your ankle which goes off if you leave a certain area which is your imaginary box. This is the perception of a box to many people........ well that is.....to the people that say "think outside the box". These people dont want to conform. They want to be free. And they are free to want to be free. These are usually the people who say "I cant see myself working for nobody". Many of these people want their own businesses or they want to work from 12 P.M. to 5 P.M. with a 2-hour lunch break. Thinking "outside of the box" makes things REAL simple doesn't it?????

A box can also be a resource. Boxes are used to move objects from one place to another. Those cans of beans that you take to the goodwill aren't so hard to carry when you have a box, now are they? It's much easier to store those old records in the basement if you have a box, now isn't it? It's much easier to lug that big ole big screen from "Best Buy" if it's in a box, right? How bout that bike for your kid? What if the sales rep just handed you the parts all in your hands? A box might not always be such a bad idea.

The idea of a box is that it is used to transport and store what you need. It's taken out once you need it and used and then the remains are put back into the box. The "Box" in our world represents authority and rank. Sometimes we need authority and rank in our lives. It's cool to "do your own thang" to a certain extent. But no authority means no rules, which means no structure, which means chaos and confusion. People who talk too much are people who have never been ignored or have just not been told to SHUT UP. Kids who act up constantly probably just need to go outside and get a "switch" and then put across someone's lap. A person who always wants to fight has probably never had his or her teeth KNOCKED OUT. Structure is put in place for proper reasoning.

Now, there is nothing wrong with thinking "outside the box". Just remember, the box transports and stores everything until the RIGHT TIME. You cant be an entry level worker talking about "Im gonna think outside the box". Sit back and let "the box" transport you to a higher level. Once you get there, then you can be taken out of "the box" and used. Sometimes, you have to stay IN a system, establish yourself within that system and THEN move out.

So the next time your life calls for you to buy all those cans of pork & beans, without that box, you might drop those cans. And black toe nails aint cool when you are wearing sandles.