Time to Foster Change

Little Boxes

We all do it. Consciously or subconsciously when we first meet someone…we just can’t help ourselves from assigning this unsuspecting individual to a box.  And in this box, goes all of our impressions, assessments, thoughts, feelings, biases, insights and perceptions that formed the verdict we just methodically made in regard to this person. We make determinations and come to conclusions with little or no knowledge and within no time at all we categorize this poor soul in a way that fits our own purpose and quells our own insecurities. More times than not we end up placing a lid on that box and shelving it where it sits untouched.

The box remains tucked away mostly because we never bothered to take the time to understand or familiarize ourselves with the person, we placed in it. By taping this box shut and storing it away we just created a rather difficult barrier for this person to navigate around. It somehow now becomes their job to convince us to change our mind about them, even though it was our choice to perceive them in a light that has less to do with them and more to do with our own clouded judgments.

I will readily admit that I am guilty of this pattern myself.  And it always makes me pause and sometimes chuckle when I witness myself or someone else become shocked, surprised or even jealous when the person who we wrapped up in our preconceived notions busts through this discarded box and does something or becomes someone that defies our definition of them. Like it was somehow their fault that we chose to place them there in the first place.

We do not know the reasoning and purpose of another’s journey. So why are we so quick to ignore, dismiss and abandon another human being we know absolutely nothing about?  Why do we find the need to debase someone solely because they happen to threaten the level of comfort that our ego can tolerate?

Whether we choose to admit or not, we like to tier ourselves, leaving those who don’t meet our expectations with a label on their back.  Our habit of doing this is not only self-serving, it’s very unfair, especially when that insignia is placed upon a child. It makes no difference what the designation is… it could be racial, cultural, physical, developmental, behavioral, mental, or just a broad characterization such as a foster or adopted kid. The fact of the matter is we tend to devalue and underestimate the worth of another based upon misinformation, insecurity, arrogance, ignorance or a combination of all the above.

What needs to be seen from human kind is a lot more tolerance, support, understanding, and acceptance. In other words, we need to expand our capacity for empathy and compassion instead of choosing to soothe our egos. We gotta try harder and become more mindful of how we continually judge others in a light that has nothing to do with them, but everything to do with us and our own limited awareness. Why do we continually strive to find ways to make life harder for one another? 

We all have our own purpose and reason for being here.  Our minds have better things to do then sift, sort and pack opinions of others away. We need to demolish these boxes and begin recycling all this head space for better use. We will not only be doing a favor to everyone we meet, but we will be allowing our ego that much needed vacation.