Let’s think about chickens that are raised for food. While it’s true that there are free-range chickens that are raised differently, the bulk of chickens that are raised for food are kept in tight quarters, disallowed to get exercise, and fattened up for slaughter. They know very little life outside the cramped cages they are raised in.
Is that me? Am I disallowing myself to experience the world? Am I cheating myself of the vast opportunities to develop deeper and more meaningful relationships with other people? Am I my own captive and staying in my cramped cage, fattening up for the slaughter? I hope that, as you ask yourself these questions, you’re seeing choices you can make to change them if the answer to any of them is YES.
Choosing to live inside the box means that we’re choosing to live life on the basis of assumption. Instead of reaching out and asking questions, we take the safer, and often more negative, approach by creating our own realities. It’s a dangerous way to live and cages us up in a way that makes truth uninvited and paranoia our closest ally.
I’m always fascinated by the life of Helen Keller. Left blind and deaf from a childhood illness at age two, her interaction with the world was extremely limited. Can you imagine? Can you imagine a world where you couldn’t read or hear and learning something as basic as communication? It fascinates me that Anne Sullivan was able to break through that scared, defensive shell to coax Helen out into the world. Through the use of hand signals (eventually evolving into sign language), feeling others’ faces to understand how to form words, and exposure to the world around her, Helen was saved by Anne and grew into a brilliant woman with an exceptional amount of wisdom to share.
Out of the box also means that we’re seeing people where they are. Instead of holding them at arm’s length, we’re rushing to them to understand their motivation. We’re asking questions to be educated and understand. We’re genuinely interested in people and what makes them tick!
So, the question “Am I in the box?” needs to be an all-day every-day inquiry. Am I shielding myself from the world and the growth it offers me today, or am I FREE? Tomorrow Begins Today.