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Outside Or Back In?

September 28, 2010

I always find it funny, when people try too hard to “think outside of the box”, to “color outside of the lines”, or any other catchy ways of expressing individuality. I am all for being open-minded and unique. It’s nice when people come up with ideas for situations or different solutions, for everyday life. I applaud and admire true creativity in people, within art and expression. But, I also know that an truly unique idea, view, or work of art in life is rare gem. Not everyone, including myself, will ALWAYS think outside of the box. We are all affected by this thing called “common sense”, which is… well… common. So, many of our ideas or views are a reflection of our surroundings and our interactions within different social groups.

The ones who think outside of the box and come up with something AWESOME, they do so sporadically and when they do, no one can really say that the unique idea didn’t change the world or have the potential to. The computer was not built in a day, and all of it’s inventors (many were involved in it) didn’t live every day inventing new gadget after gadget, always thinking outside of the box. GRANTED, they did think outside of it in the first place, coming up with the trillion-dollar idea of a machine, which became a staple in every household and as much needed as a couch or lamp. And others in marketing thought outside of the box still, making the massive machine smaller and thinner, to the point that we can easily carry it with us down any busy street today. This outside-thinking did change the course of the modern world. ;-)

But, what makes me laugh is when people try to use the term “outside the box”, as a way to separate themselves from a perceived “herd”. In order for them to prove that they think outside the box, these types will try to go against the grain of popular thought, not because they generally feel that view. It’s easy to spot who’s pretending or not pretending to be “non-mainstream”, from the insane arguments they choose. For example: of course many people would agree that education for children is important. Hell, education in general (for everyone) is important. The extremist will argue that education is NOT important at all and is the downfall of all society, only because many would say and think the obvious – that education is important.  To say the opposite is playing “devil advocate”, and is NOT thinking outside of the box. It’s actually an very old game played by lawyers since the 1500’s, within the canonization progress of the Roman Church. It’s not new, people, therefore it’s not “thinking outside the box”. It’s like me saying the word “Railroad”, then branding myself a genius for inventing the system. :-p

What the people who claim to be “outside-thinkers” fail to realize is, that there is a group of others who claim to be beyond “mainstream” also. So, of this perceived “herd” (meaning people like me who do have common sense and don’t always have original ideas.. or have a need to pat our own backs and announce it, when we do come up with an original ideas), these types fail to see that they are also in herd of their own. :-/

I have no need to not listen to certain music, to not voice certain ideas, or to not stand for certain beliefs  to prove that I’m not “mainstream”. That’s silly, to me! I don’t worry (obviously!) about what others think about me, when I take a stand on something. Nor do I hesitate to RANT and RAVE about something. I’m not trying to play Devil Advocate or trying to prove that I think outside of the box… Actually, I believe that I’m “inside” the box and I love mainstream. I’m proud of it! I don’t care for titles, never had and never will. :-)

I only get annoyed (yet laugh) when strangers I run across have this stuck-up vibe toward me and others, believing that they are better than most, because they purposely choose the opposite roads in life or listen to crappy underground music. I also get a little sad for them too. I guess, we all want to be special in our own way, to have worth as an individual. But, people already have that worth within themselves, that uniqueness that no one else can touch. There’s no need to make up an exclusive status to feel better about oneself. Because in that way, then you are truly trapped inside a box, stuck in a label like any other common, where you must always uphold the image of it… even against your own true nature or ideas.

I think Shakespeare said it best, “Nothing is so common-place as to wish to be remarkable.” We are all so different, but yet so similar… ;-)

-D

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