Reputo Foris Arca Archa by Chris Gallagher
To think outside the box has long been used as a metaphor for thinking creatively, for looking further than the obvious. According to the fount of modern human knowledge, Wikipedia, it has its origins in the Disney Corporation of the sixties when their workforce were given the classic 9 point puzzle to solve.
The challenge being to draw a line though all nine points without lifting the pen from the paper. It can be done, but only if you draw beyond the invisible boundary set by the outer points.
It is an overused expression these days; I tend to groan when I hear earnest executives exhorting their sales people to greater effort by use of this tired old phrase. To think outside the box has become a modern cliché. But like all clichés there is a deeper truth concealed.
In the western world particularly we tend to live our lives in boxes; and I’m speaking literally when I say this. Our homes, our methods of transportation, our places of work, are all, no matter what we call them, boxes of one type or another. Different shapes, different levels of style and comfort, but boxes nonetheless.
But what if we take the advice to think outside the box literally? As a writer I sometimes find myself puzzling over some aspect of my latest work, and find my best creative ideas come when I leave the boxes behind and get out into the fresh air. I take a walk, or a bike ride, and very soon the problem that was insurmountable inside the box is quickly solved once freed of its restrictions. In fact the idea for this post came when litter picking the school site where I work.
Frequently though, artistic types use certain drugs, and alcohol in an attempt to aid the creative process, often with tragic results. Death of course will bring the final example of thinking outside the box when our soul is released from its box; the human body. Ironically though this will mean in most cases that the empty body will then be placed in yet another box.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about the title of this post; it was simply me thinking outside the box by putting the phrase into an online Latin translator. Reputo Foris Arca Archa, I think I prefer it.