We all have boxes, containers and Tupperware in our homes; we use them to store, organize, de-clutter, or even use them as toys for our little ones. They are most certainly useful to all of us. However, I know a kind of boxes that are not! They are unpleasant and demeaning boxes. You must be wondering now what kind of monster boxes I am talking about? Well I am talking about the boxes we willingly put other people in! We organize them just as we do with toys, from the man with the beard who is very strict and we should not laugh, talk or even breathe in front of him. To the lady wearing a scarf over her head who is completely uptight and terribly conservative. To the woman with a tattoo on her wrist who is definitely a not-so-good kind of girl. To the little rebellious girls, who only god knows how she will turn out to be! Do you see now what kind of boxes I am talking about? We all have, at least once in our lives, thought this or that about a friend, cousin, acquaintance or just a random woman or man in the streets.
We always feel the need to label every single person who decides to “think outside the box” as the abnormal. We hardly give that person the benefit of the doubt and think that the beard has nothing to do with his character; it is just a way to show his own beliefs. He might actually be very funny and entertaining. We never bother to dig deeper and see the scarf as the lady’s own way of presenting herself to the world and we should just respect it. We barely see the art and freedom in that tattoo on that woman’s wrist. We never give the little girl a chance to explain what is she rebelling against; she might have a damn good reason for it.
Regardless what is our religion, culture, principles or virtue, we are all human beings, we are certainly entitled to give our opinion on a behavior or an act yet judging a person based on that opinion seems a little unfair to me. Why do we all need to fit in one “Normal” box? Why can’t we admire the weird, the strange, the unusual. Why can’t we welcome the abnormal, cheer for the odd and see the uncommon as a ray of freshness? Every person is responsible for their own acts, thoughts and opinions, they are the ones who will bear the consequences, not us, so why bother and spend so much energy trying to label them, judge them or fit them in our tiny limited and so uncreative boxes.
Every single day I spend a great amount of time figuring out how to raise my little one to be a tolerant, compassionate man, who has his own beliefs and principles yet he is acceptant and lenient towards other people’s religion, thoughts and opinions. A man who does not judge a person because of his skin color, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender or opinions. And I hope, I really hope, he will grow up to be that man.
I struggled through the years to ignore the little voices in my brain, calling out those little boxes and trying to fit people I knew in them, It took me so long to finally have the power to push them to the back of my mind. Shut them up. With time they became pleasant and sweet, they now applaud for what is different and all I hear now is “ Wow that’s great, that’s different.”
I wonder if we will ever experience a world with absolutely no boxes???? will we??