The Box Mentality

In this day in age, everything is boxes. Our food comes in boxes, we watch boxes for fun, we live in box like structures, we use these nifty little boxes to communicate with each other ALL DAY and worst of all we learn in boxes. It just does not seem to make any sense. How on earth are we as a civilization being dominated by boxes?! Seriously, take a moment to look around wherever you are at and I bet you will see what I’m raving about.

What I really don’t understand is the fact that we are taught about the world around us in a box of bricks. I have spent thousands of dollars and numerous hours in a classroom “learning.” What this learning has really boiled down to is the quick memorization of information and then the regurgitation at test time.  I stuffed my brain full and repeated the process again and again but it never really sunk in. We take a bunch of classes just to meet goal areas but do we really have interest in them? If there was an option not to take 90% of your classes would you even take them? I realized that some of my classes were an attempt to try and culture me but how in world could I relate to something as deep as a peoples way of life through text? Or understand the complexity and importance of the environment by watching a movie? College just wasn’t cutting it for me and I felt like I was wasting my time and money on a scam. Gathered together, these lectures and validation of our memory would only amount to a piece of paper, a cheep polyester gown with a ridiculous hat and $40,000 in debt. I craved to see those far away lands and the ability to learn about this world with my own eyes. This was something I was not at all getting from sitting inside a box. So I called it good and gave it up.

What I am learning everyday outside of a box my words could never explain. I don’t think schooling is totally bad, it has its place. I do however think that it leads a bunch people in the wrong direction. You may think its the right thing to do because its looked on as prestigious and well to do by society as a whole; it is said you will make more money in the end. This is not always the case, my friends, it’s the twenty first century. Almost everyone has a B.A. these days, its hardly distinguishing anymore. Getting a degree often sets you up to be in debt that takes years to pay off. In turn you get locked into a job to pay off the debt. The killer is, you probably won’t love your job. This adds up to the trade of life for money that I don’t see as worth it. But not to despair, if you are reading this there is still life in you, so that means there are choices to be made. I don’t want to work my life away in a box so I can buy more boxes. Shoot, I don’t even want to see anymore boxes. I want to see what the rest of the shapes look like! That’s enough of my brain leakage, I hope we can all achieve the freedom of life. Now stop looking at this box already! Happy travels! -Alex

Utah
Organic “boxes”

31 thoughts on “The Box Mentality

  1. Hello! I am currently a student at an undergrad university, planning on getting my M.A. and /possibly/ my Ph.D. in writing, specifically in editing and publishing. A lot of people would look at me and say, “why waste the money?” But honestly, if you don’t have a Ph.D., how can you teach?
    I love college. I love my English classes. They are all discussion-based and all involve cooperative thinking. Guided progression of thought. The things I have learned will stick with me for decades to come.
    I love reading. I love Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. I love The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. But there’s a difference between liking something and loving something. Liking reading means leisure. Loving reading means employment. But the only way to get a job in reading is to have a degree.
    I want to teach college classes one day. The discussion is just something I can never have enough of. I live off of discussion. If there were a way to be paid to travel and have deep conversations with people about 18th century literature or postmodernism, heck, I’d drop school and take it! But the sad reality is, the only way to get deep, meaningful conversation is to sit still somewhere for a long, long time, or to be with another person who loves that stuff for a long, long time. The latter is currently not an option for me. So I’ll take the former.

    I love that you guys are promoting an adventurous lifestyle! And I am bummed to say it’s not for me. But if we didn’t have infrastructure, we wouldn’t have society! Am I right? haha.

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    1. Hey Anne thanks for taking your time to go in on this! I think its important for each of us to follow our passions, that is a must for our happiness. I can’t say I totally relate to your love for school but then again its not my passion. I’m glad you have found something that you really enjoy and find worth while! In my opinion the massive infrastructure we have is part of the reason people are not strong enough to survive without it anymore. Which I think is sad but its our reality so we make it work. We are actually rock climbing with a lad right now that has his masters..he is on a road trip to wherever and loves it 🙂 toodles!

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  2. This is a very interesting perspective. I like it! Now, I do love the world of academia and boxes of books, art supplies, etc., but I love thinking outside of the box, as well. 🙂

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  3. “Out of the box” ideas and attitudes are the most creative and enriching. Understanding that you don’t need to fit in any of the boxes other people have been formatting for you is one of the greatest discoveries for any individual, I think. Box thinking is simplifying things, denying the complexity of the world and its inhabitants. Did some thinking about this too: http://bit.ly/1HGzrFH.

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  4. Really interesting post! I’ve always been a bit of a nerd and done well academically – it just suited my personality – but the biggest lessons I’ve learned, and the biggest steps forward I’ve taken as a human being, have come from stepping outside my comfort zone and being a bit scared. Our ‘boxes’ are safe, and it’s important to have safe places, just as long as our box isn’t our whole world. There’s so much out there waiting for us to experience!

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  5. *makes the thinking face* I have been in and out of the college box for eight years now, and I have mixed feelings about it. I feel like I have learned a lot from college, but only because I put a lot into it. And when I say I learned a lot, I mean I understand certain topics in far more depth than I did before. I think that’s what college is good for: getting incredibly detailed about whatever you’re studying. I happen to enjoy that, which is probably why I’ve always done well in school.

    But details don’t do any good unless you understand how they play out in real life. I believe the most important lessons occur outside of the education box: how to cope with ups and downs, how to live in accordance with your own values, and how to relate to others. The most rapid periods of growth in my life have also taken place when I wasn’t in school.

    In short, the college box can give you lots of knowledge about the subjects you choose to study. But wisdom can only come from outside of it.

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    1. Well spoken Josh, you have solid points. I know that many people enjoy, and benefit from going to college. In my case I just can’t justify paying for this knowledge. Things I desire to understand I simply study on my own. The road has been a sufficient teacher and I feel satisfied by its what I have learned. But to each his own, I’m just glad you are okay with what your doing! That’s really all that matters facts aside.

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  6. I studied, got a Ph.D. in Biology, playe, lived and worked in beautiful places and made enough money to retire at age 50. Boxes are not necessarily evil, just pick the ones you like and stay away from the rest? Just an idea.

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    1. That is impressive Bearly! I agree with you, I am not saying they are evil but I do think many people easily become trapped in them before the realize whats happening. A lot of time can be lost by wrong moves in my eyes.

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