Walking Boxes – Conceptually


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.


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.


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 the warehouse.

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

    >to help those boxes still on the shelf who feel mis-categorized, 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