Breaking out of the Box

Boxes. We all use them. It’s how we make sense of the world. It is how we interact with the world. They help us cope with the immense amount of alternatives available to us. Our box is our way of saying: this is how it is. This is what we do. This is who we are. Our boxes define our rules. The rules we live by.

Our boxes are like home. They offer us small pockets of comfort in a constantly changing environment. An environment that places demands and expactations on us. That is constantly seeking to provoke our reaction through messages and ads. Constantly seeking to entice our desires and dreams. Our boxes help us filter what’s important in a constant flow of information.

Our boxes help us simplify. Like explorers we discover new things and try to adapt them to what we already know. They give us tools to label and categorize persons, places and things.  Our boxes operate like languages, offering a common protocol. Our signs and symbols help us reduce complexities, or rather tame them.

Our boxes can be harmful. They tend to define an inside and an outside. What is outside can be frightening. The unknown. This fear can feed racism, prejudicism, and all kinds of -isms. In the long run they can alienate us from the world outside; new ideas, cultures, and people.

Our boxes exist in our organizations. They can be our business plan, brand or marketing plan. It is in essense a box that we create. A simplification of reality into opportunities, messages, target groups, actions and what not. All coded in phrases and lingo that makes sense to us. Our boxes help us collaborate and move in one direction.

The problem is not the box. The box is a necessity for our survival. It lies in our nature to reduce complexity, to find rules to live by and dreams to die for. Problems arise when we don’t question our boxes, or refrain from learning different perspectives on life and how to live it. It is important that we move outside of our comfort zones to discover new ways and opportunities.

Living witout our boxes is not a question. Questioning them is a challenge. However it is a necessity for creating a sustainable way for the future. Including ourselves, our families, tribes, organisations, communities and the environment..

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