We all need to get out of our imaginary and invisible boxes. We all need to start looking at our lives as incomplete without the lives of those we live with, reflects Kenneth Thomas Mathye.
I have heard and read where people talk about thinking outside the box. I believe you have also heard someone talk about thinking outside the box. The questions I have asked myself are what does this box consist of? What does it look like? What is it made of? Is it something I can touch and feel?
Though imaginary and invisible, this box is so powerful and has a great influence in our lives. It is therefore important and critical that we understand it. Failure to do this will keep and limit our lives within the box.
Today many Psychologists agree that our characters, behaviours and lives are results of both nature and nurture. Nature in a sense that we are born with certain personality traits, gifts, talents and natural abilities, and nurture in a sense that there are things we learn in the environments where we are brought up and how we are brought up. It is in these environments where these invisible boxes are created and we are boxed in. The people we live with start telling us what type of individuals we are. They tell us what we can do and what we cannot do and the more we listen and believe them, the more what they tell us becomes our reality.
Listening to what others say about us is not at all bad; yet taking whatever they say without questioning its validity and truthfulness is dangerous. When we accept ourselves through the lenses of others without reflecting and questioning their views about us, we give away our responsibility to know and understand ourselves. When we don’t know and understand ourselves, we run a risk of having our lives remote controlled by others. We then become comfortable inside our imaginary and invisible boxes. We do nothing that will upset those who created these boxes for us. We don’t challenge the status quo even when we realise that there is a need for change. We resist change because it becomes uncomfortable thinking of life outside our comfortable imaginary and invisible boxes.
How do you know if you are living inside the imaginary and invisible box? It is when you see your life only through your own paradigm without considering the perspective of others. It is when you see your life as the complete cake instead of a piece in the bigger cake. It is when you see your work as the complete task instead of a small part of the bigger project. It is when you see your community as the whole instead of it being part of the country. It is when you see your country as a whole instead of it being part of the world. In summary it is when your life revolves around you and nothing else.
What then, you may ask. We all need to get out of our imaginary and invisible boxes. We all need to start looking at our lives as incomplete without the lives of those we live with; whether at home, in the community, in our churches or any other place or organisations we belong to. We all need to start looking at our gifts, talents, and abilities as tools that need to be utilised for the betterment of humanity. Our knowledge and skills should make the world we live in a better place for us and all those who live in this world. We all need to start looking at our jobs not only as a means of providing financial gains, but as a means of making the lives of others better. This therefore calls for us to look beyond our daily routine between eight o’clock and four o’clock. We will only achieve this when we continuously develop new habits, acquire new knowledge and skills, develop new and meaningful relationships.
This is not going to be easy since moving from the comfort zone has never been easy, but in due season we will celebrate that we managed to change our “worlds” by moving out of our imaginary and invisible boxes. Life is enjoyable and more beautiful outside the imaginary and invisible box.