For over a year and a half, the local coffee shop I frequent had an empty black frame hanging on the wall. And for all of that time, I wondered what the owner, Mo, was thinking.
Was he being cheap? Lazy? Maybe he had walked past that frame so many times he simply didn’t see it anymore.
Then last week, I noticed something. The once empty frame now contained the words “Think Outside the Box.”
After a year and a half of hanging empty on the wall, an artist named Giovanni captured what Mo had wanted to portray with the empty frame all along: there is power in being able to see beyond what is readily apparent.
The phrase “think outside the box” means to consider things in a new and different way.
Everyone sees the world through their own frame, or box. Early on in life, people are given labels, told who they are and what is expected of them. They are ‘put in boxes.’ A teacher may label a student as gifted or slow. Parents see one child as the athlete, one as the smart kid, one as the comedian. Peers give the labels of stupid, ugly, dumb, fat, or loser.
But boxes, no matter how ornate or beautiful, are limiting.