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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Outside the Box

Thinking "outside the box" is a cliche,
Indicating a solution to a problem
Which apparently is contained by
Parameters resembling sides of a box.

Presumably, you can't go outside the box,
And if you try to do so, you may
Create a chaotic situation that will be worse
Than the problem you are attempting to solve.

However, these solutions often create
A whole new reality, as they come to
Be accepted as normal within
A certain set of circumstances.

Consider the American revolution which
Broke the back of territorial boundaries
And led to an established right to be
Free and independent in a new state.

Consider the resistance of Luther
To centralized control of Christianity
And led to the founding of denominations
Based upon theological differences.

Some radical solutions, such as Marxism
Or its gentler cousin, socialism, do fail
With great damage to society,
Whereas unfettered free markets thrive.

But when progressive ideas fail in the arena,
A backlash may bring back historical practices
That again become popular and
More suited to present conditions.

So we should not be afraid to think
Outside the box, even if it may lead us
To look back to earlier times for answers
That might now be considered inconceivable.

For example, do we really need a prison system?
Has it truly rehabilitated inmates, or instead,
Helped to create a permanent criminal class?
How else might society keep safe from crime?

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