The area outside the box is golden

By H. Maria

Ever thought about why things are as they are? “Lack of pride,” and “rude, ugly behavior” often comes up. Mutters of “no structure” are loud. Never forget the ever mentioned, “somebody” who malingers on his or her job. Granted, “lack of pride” and “rude behavior” are problems. Structure, as we define it, might just bear the largest share of responsibility.

Before we compartmentalized ourselves so neatly, we defined structure in different ways. We experimented and learned. Children were taught behaviors of respect, kindness and good manners, so all could work together, harmoniously. Skills were developed and passed on to do whatever needed doing, whenever it needed doing. We planted and hunted, prepared meat and cooked it. We made tools, built shelters, wove fabrics, took children in hand as needed…

We are so much more evolved now! In this modern and advanced age we pack ourselves in orderly little boxes. A proper plumber only plumbs, a web designer only designs websites. When help is needed a specifically defined worker is dispatched, by someone who only dispatches. When a child has the misfortune of being born to parents who do not parent, a child is lost, sometimes, that child becomes an angry outlaw and that brings us to the problems we are facing.

Each day we head to our little box. One day the way is marked by graffiti. The next day it is befouled by filth tossed by the side of the road. Shopping trips are hindered by children behaving horribly. We take offense, and can’t help but think, “how awful, THEY should clean that up,” or “those parents should parent!” Should someone suggest we take care of the problem ourselves, we are offended, “Not My Specialty!”

Values,” of course, should only be taught at home and in the church of choice. Teachers should never address bad behavior, because teachers should only teach. Crossing over into any other area of responsibility is thought of as ill advised, and maybe even suspect. It’s often disparagingly said of someone willing to learn and do many things, that “he or she, is just a ‘Jack of all trades and master of none.’”

In our perceived perfect scenario children are always well raised, there is always enough money, and enough staff. If people behave badly there is enough police, equipment never fails, and of course we always have enough rain… But, perfect just doesn’t exist. Murphy’s law is always in force. Mayhem happens.

There isn’t an abundance of “theys” that can do everything. We stopped making them. Things have been changing since the ‘80’s. We are being forced, more and more to multi-task. That word was born of the elimination of so many employees from the workplace. The survivors were expected to take on the tasks of the dismissed.

In 20-plus years hence, this experience has leaked into almost every field of endeavor. We struggle and struggle to stay in our box despite the returned time for the willing, skillful and multitasking Jack-of-all-trades. It’s been done before. It happened in the time of humanity when all of knowledge and beauty was nearly destroyed.

It started with a few people and evolved to what we know of as the High Renaissance. DaVinci produced near divine art, as well as war machines. For the lucky few, hard at work in those little boxes a steady income continues.

What has not continued is “the way things used to be.” Things are changing and not necessarily for the good. If we wish to keep our changing world on an even keel, more often than not, we have to open a side on that box.

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