WALK AMONG THE BOXES
Back in the mid 1990s, J Roth wrote a song called “Walk Among the Boxes”.
Here are a couple of the verses:
I grew up in a box room in a box house
boxed on a property
boxed in a district boxed in a city boxed
in a county
boxed in a state boxed in this country-
Spinning on a round planet
I ate my cereal from a box got on a box bus put
my lunch box
in my locker box sat at my box desk in
the box room
of my box school and was taught boxed information-
While the time spun around
The basic concept within the song is that everything in the modern world
seems to be comprised of boxes: the shapes of our buildings, divisions
of land, units of time, categories of information, and on and on. This
all despite the roundness of the planet and the lack of straight lines
found within nature.
FROM WALKING AMONG TO BECOMING
Inevitably, this obsession for boxing everything up seems to have led
us to box up our very selves. When we meet someone, we quickly (usually
subconsciously) assess their age, gender, skin color, hair style, clothes,
manner of speech – all in an effort to figure which box they should be
put in. Determining their profession, sexual orientation, musical taste,
schooling, economic status, etc. help us even further define their appropriate
box. Once put in their respective box, they can be stored on the particular
shelf in our worldview-warehouse where we feel they belong.
But this isn't just something done to one another. Individuals also put
themselves in boxes: I like this, I don't like that; I'm good at this,
I'm not good at that; I can do this, I can't do that; I dress like this,
I don't dress like that. And so on.
Is this self-knowledge developed through years of experience? Or are we
imposing unnecessary limitations upon ourselves?
Being completely box-free isn't possible; for us humans, there's no escape
from the box labeled "Human". Technology may eventually catch
up with science fiction, but for now there are other boxes we cannot escape:
Species, Age, Skin Color, Planet of Birth, etc.
The ideal behind Walking
Boxes isn't to transcend all boxes (we'll leave that to the mystics).
Our goal is simpler.
THE MISSION FROM WITHIN THE WAREHOUSE
Some seem to find comfort within their box; they know where their place
on the shelf is and are pleased to be surrounded by other boxes of their
type. Some boxes though are less content to stay on the shelf. For various
reasons, they decide to get up off their shelf and start walking through
These are the Walking Boxes.
The mission of the particular Walking Box known as J Roth and the work
he does through his company is:
>to provide encouragement to those boxes walking
around – it's not always easy to be off the shelf
help those boxes still on the shelf who feel miscategorized, or confined,
or curious about exploring their limitations – help them realize
they have legs and can get up and walk around
>to encourage those boxes that are content with
their place on the shelf to come down once in a while anyway, it being
vital for our society and our planet as a whole that we boxes of all types
mingle and get a good look at what's inside each other