Little Boxes Across ‘Merica

Little Boxes Original Song

I’ve witnessed many political arguments, both in person and in cyberspace, and to be honest, I have been a part of them, too.  I really hate conflict, but there have been times I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut, or my fingers still.  The one thing I have taken away from these interactions is that the problem is bigger than the things people are so focused on.

Democrats or Republicans, straight couples or gay couples, rich people or poor people did not cause the problems in our country.  Narrow thinking is at fault.  Most people literally think “inside the box.” We place each other in little boxes, and we focus on our differences rather than our similarities.

We stopped relating to each other as people.  Instead, we think of each other as members of a group.  We say things like, “Well, he’s Republican, so we can’t expect him to understand.”  Or, “She’s not a Christian, so she has no moral compass.”  Boxes.  Little Boxes.  And our box is always BETTER than anyone else’s box.  We are right; they are wrong.  That way of thinking is the only thing that is wrong.

Americans, along with many people in the world are taught to be fiercely competitive.  From an early age, kids are encouraged to be on sports teams and to “beat” the other team.  Kids who are not interested in sports, or some other competitive activity are odd, or weird, or lazy.  Non-competitive people are losers.  So, it is no surprise that box thinking is so common.  Our boxes are inherited.  They may be slightly renovated, but they are still boxes.

So, how do we solve this?  Easy.  We tear down the boxes.  We start LISTENING to each other, and ASKING questions instead of judging a person by their assumed group.  We can stop being Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians.  We can just be people who want to live long, healthy, relatively pain-free, happy lives.  We can be people who focus on the similarities, rather than the differences.  It would require less energy to get along than to constantly argue.

2 thoughts on “Little Boxes Across ‘Merica

  1. A well thought out article. Being an old… err…. wizened observer, I have watched us grow from a tribal us VS them culture back in the days of Joe McCarthy to a diverse, forward moving country where we actually had our longest period where we weren’t at war since the Revolution. We were riding a wave of diversity, science, and yes, compassion for others forward towards an amazing future potential.. Then something happened… I don’t know exactly when it began to grow, but it blossomed on 9-11-01. We, who had enjoyed such promise, were seized with a paranoia and racial and religious hatred that is greater than anything in my experience but apparently has been lying in wait in the more primitive areas of our brains right along. Now we are seeing things that most people can’t even process… our freedoms have been compromised, we who live within 100 miles of the US border have no 14th Amendment rights against search and seizure without cause… plane rides require peep shows or manhandling… some states actually can ask you for “your papers.” We are not used to thinking that these things can happen in our country and most people are in denial, but if we are ever going to beat our “enemies” real or imagined, and follow Lisa;s philosophy, we must stop supporting the wing-nut fringe in our government. I’ll stop now, U should write my own blog but I’m not as disciplined as Lisa and my readers would wander away while I did whatever I do when I’m looking for my mind… I often misplace it… old age creeps up on you REALLY fast, not that I’m THAT old but I’m starting to be a little creaky. So here’s another hurray for Lisa’s insight!! We are fortunate to have her out there keeping our braincells from rusting over. ~ Peace all.

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