I love boxes. I try not to. But I do. They tell me pretty little lies. They tell me I am perceptive and clever. They tell me I can FIGUR...

Boxes Boxes

Boxes

Boxes

I love boxes. I try not to. But I do.

They tell me pretty little lies. They tell me I am perceptive and clever. They tell me I can FIGURE STUFF OUT. That I can understand things (and people) that are too complicated, too deep, too multi-layered and multi-faceted to possibly make sense of.

This is why people love boxes so much. Not because people are judgment-passing haters (not always, anyway). I think they do it out of desperation. Maybe they put people in boxes because they just want the world and the people in it to make sense.

And it scares the hell out of them when it doesn't.

Because that means we're not as clever as we think we are. We're not as in control as we think we are. And if the people we put in boxes don't fit in them, then maybe we don't fit in the boxes we put ourselves in. Maybe we don't belong anywhere at all. And maybe we don't know how to be okay with that.

A lot of maybes in this post. Because the world is a maybe sort of place. And maybe it shouldn't be a box-filled kind of place. Some days I want to smash them all and shout at people to stop. Stop already. Stop putting people in boxes.

Because sometimes it's cruel, and hateful and wrong.

But other times it's not. Other times it's just this quiet, desperate, trying-to-make-sense thing. A whoops-I-got-that-wrong thing. A struggling to carve order out of chaos, because IT MUST MAKE SENSE IN ORDER TO BE GOOD.

Another kind of lie.

I kind of hope that some day, we won't be box makers and sorters anymore. That we'll surpass it somehow. Evolve. See every person as a person. Accept the whole of them instead of trying to put together the hundreds of thousands of pieces that make them who they are.

People aren't puzzles that need putting together. We're just not. And the problem with thinking of each other that way (beyond the inherent issue of thinking of each other as THINGS) is what you do with a puzzle when you've given up on it.

You put it back in the box.

4 comments:

  1. I hate boxes. Honestly I do. They hide things -- I mean, look at when you're packing for a trip and you put something in SOME box, but you just can't find it. It's even worse with people. You put them in a box, a label, and all the sudden you've eliminated half the things they actually ARE. Ahhhh! I really don't like them. I'm sure I still use them to some extent (because some things are really hard to avoid like, "Oh, you go into my "you're a girl" box" and you go into my "You're my mother" box... but I like to try to have them be tiny boxes that stack... I really love this post. :) And your last line is nice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awesome, Kim!
    My son baffled a lot of teachers and leaders, until I was able to hand them a box that said "high functioning autism." They sighed with relief, pulled him out of boxes marked "lazy," "weird," "bad," and put him in the autism box, thinking that meant they understood something about him. Which they kinda did--not lazy, not weird, not bad is a fine place to start. No one WANTED him in those other boxes...but he still required a "not like us" box. It's probably one of those useful telestial survival mechanisms--I've known someone with characteristics like yours before, so I don't have to start from scratch trying to understand you when you're not helping out much, here.

    But I've spent a fair bit of time wondering what the world would be like if there was just one big box marked "people." Or better yet, "children of God."

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome, Kim!
    My son baffled a lot of teachers and leaders, until I was able to hand them a box that said "high functioning autism." They sighed with relief, pulled him out of boxes marked "lazy," "weird," "bad," and put him in the autism box, thinking that meant they understood something about him. Which they kinda did--not lazy, not weird, not bad is a fine place to start. No one WANTED him in those other boxes...but he still required a "not like us" box. It's probably one of those useful telestial survival mechanisms--I've known someone with characteristics like yours before, so I don't have to start from scratch trying to understand you when you're not helping out much, here.

    But I've spent a fair bit of time wondering what the world would be like if there was just one big box marked "people." Or better yet, "children of God."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Boxes are so good for hiding things away that we don't want to deal with, that we'll look at later. The toughest part of changing my thinking is breaking out of the box I feel others have put me in. I can say I don't need to care about what other people think to be my true self, but acting on that means I have to break out of my own box and stand there naked. Very uncomfortable, yet the longer I stand there the more glimpses of freedom I get.

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.