Sunday, March 05, 2006

Toy Box

George Carlin once observed, on a flight across the United States, that everyone lives in their own box of stuff. I’ve flown many times across the country and every time I look down on a clear day I’m reminded of the same thing. We all live, if we’re fortunate enough, in a box of some sort which is mainly a collection of our stuff. When I was young there were times that I could climb into my toy box and there reside amongst my stuff. When the box got too full of stuff, I’d have to get a bigger box. What was I to do?
It never occurred to my child sized self-centeredness that I could actually get rid of some of my “stuff” and therefore be content in the same size box. My how some things do not change easily. Now I basically still live in my toy box. It’s a bit bigger and I have to share it, but it really is a toy box. I’d like to say that I’ve grown up a bit and learned to live within my box. The truth is that I’m only determined to stay in this box because, in the area that I live, I would need a bigger allowance to increase the size of my box. Some things have changed though. I’m actually more possessive of my toys now that I’m older. I have locks on my box. I have multiple locks on my box in fact. Some people I know have alarms on their boxes. They have more serious possession issues than I have . I think they might have better toys that I have too. I don’t know though, because they don’t invite me over to play all that much. People are more suspicious where I live now.
On the other coast I almost never locked my box. In fact, in the last box we lived in I never even had a key. Friends were always welcome to come over and play, well almost always. They were even welcome to come over when we weren’t home. We shared more. Even I shared more now that I think of it. That was amazing all by itself. And if the boxes became crowded, a new one was much more affordable. That made it all the more difficult to get rid of my stuff. It made garage sales so much more attractive for me back then. Even though I could probably benefit from getting rid of some stuff, I wouldn’t dream of leaving my box unlocked today. It causes me to sometimes have to get up in the middle of the night from my perfectly wonderful bed just to check and make sure that the box is locked. I’m into sharing and all as long as I get to pick who it is that I would be sharing with. I don’t think that I’m all that much different from other people. One of the first concepts that we learn in life is “mine”. Sharing stuff is difficult for most of us. That is why a true community is so amazing. The church was begun as a community where people shared their stuff. They not only shared it, they sold it when necessary to make sure that everyone in the community had the stuff they needed. No one in the community went hungry. No one painted signs that said “will work for…”Some of them even sold their boxes to make sure that others could have one for themselves. And I ‘m guessing that most weren’t even locked

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