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This is Your Box

How this works is, I find a box that I think suits you. Then I expect you to stick to it, however cramped it may get. And if you as much as poke an elbow out of it, things aren’t right.

Lame? Well, more often than not, we do exactly this. We label people around us, putting them onto a pedestal of expectations and stereotypes. By forming a certain image of them, we assign them a ‘box’. Of course this is advantageous: mentally, it simplifies the way we deal with people so we don’t have to formulate a relationship from scratch, saving valuable time and effort. Moreover, if people on average don’t deviate much from their inherently differing personalities, assigning boxes is logical and helps two different people in finding stability, where quirky behavioral traits don’t shock consistently. If I get cranky when hungry, a knowing acquaintance would form expectations, be undeterred when I show irritation and stick to a normal pattern. Potential conflict reduced.

Boxes, especially if they fit well, allow no room for growth, because, as I once read, “we fix one another in our expectations and we live down to those expectations.”

Any relationship that doesn’t accept your growth, is unhealthy. Cut loose. Live free. When you travel through life, travel light. Don’t carry burdens that drag you backwards. Allow the learning to strengthen and hope to energize – let the experience gym train you to be swift on your feet.

And yet in this frequent traveler environment, we shall stop and find companionship and build connections. It is human nature to connect. But relationships throw open the Pandora Box of human emotions: expectations, need, jealousy and desire. So is living light and creating valuable relationships compatible? If balanced well, why not.

If we know what boxes do to us, why fit others into them anymore than we want to be in them?

Relationships, like houses that we plan to live in, demand strong foundations. One could move into a house that someone else built, but that’s not personal. One could build a house on previous well-tested foundations, however if it is a new architectural structure one wants, the foundation has to be compatible with the architectural style. So, for a new personalized house with a new architectural pattern, we require solidly built new foundations. Effort certainly required. And if customization renders multiple-use foundations non-workable, we can’t really fit people into boxes and get away with it. These structures will fall.

And if a settlement of houses isn’t workable, accommodating tents are always a good option.

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