The Proverbial box

Everyone lives in a box.

This was previously published on Medium and in an effort to own my content, republished here.

Imagine the world you know and live in as a box, both conceptually and metaphorically. Everything you know about your world lives in that box and it is all you know. From the social structures you are accustomed to, down to the things you buy.

Everyone lives in a box.

It is said that astronauts who have gone up into space and caught a glimpse of our blue earth have become changed people. I suppose that means they had the chance to look upon their box from the outside and have had the exquisite opportunity to see a bigger picture.

There are people who have travelled a lot and people who think they have travelled a lot. What differentiates the two is the size of the metaphorical box that they live and breathe in.

The box constantly adjusts its size, contracting over time. It has capacity to expand, but that is derived by whether or not we are having meaningful experiences.

Think of our experiences like a time limit extension in a game.

Good experiences naturally will extend said time limit significantly more than mediocre ones. Bad experiences surprisingly score almost as well or even better than good experiences depending on the outcome.

It is therefore ludicrous when people say things like  “thinking outside the box”. There is no way to think beyond the maximum expanded limits of the box you live in.

I don’t profess to live in a gigantic box, but I am paranoid of being seen as living in a tiny one. I try to be aware of what’s going on around the world, the good and the bad, reading and learning as much possible so that my box is as big as possible.

But knowledge is cold and logical. As human beings we need to empathise and form the emotional connection between ourselves and knowledge. Life is illogical and emotions create passion around this knowledge which helps us form our own opinions.