Saturday, May 22, 2010

Who Knew?

If you don't see the world quite like everyone else it is said that you "think outside of the box". I like to believe that there is no box. I believe that everything is relative and interpretational. An old friend of mine likes to argue that math is the only truth. That numbers are constant and exact...in other words...a box.

I posed to him this question, and i'll pose it to you as well. Would you bet me a million dollars that 2+2 DOESN'T =4? That's right, that it does not equal 4. I'm sure right now you're thinking "of course". Because you've "known" since the first grade that 2+2=4. Seems like a no brainer.

This is where the box is taking form. We create these borders within our minds to simplify thoughts, to make things easier to grasp, but in the end we just limit ourselves. We create this false understanding of what we "know".

We "know" it to be true because everyone else thinks the same way. Remember playing with building blocks? You take them, stack them on top of each other, build stuff. So if I gave you a 1000 building blocks, you could probably create something pretty big. A house, castle, even just a giant wall. But what happened to the first block? It's buried somewhere beneath all of the others. Forced to conform to whatever the collective becomes. Buried by so many other blocks that it has no idea what it even helped to create.

People are not blocks but often we think in that same manner. We think on such a limited level, we hold ourselves back so much, that we find ourselves like that first block. Lost. So if we're limiting ourselves so much, how much do we really "know"?

I've always been one to look for "the possibility". Which brings us back to our bet. Here's how 2+2 doesn't equal 4. What are 2 halves + 2 halves? I'll wait...

The answer is 2. If you take 2 halves added to 2 halves, that equals 2. 2+2 equalling 2. This is where the box begins to unfold. When I asked does 2+2=4? The first question should have been, 2 of what? 2 halves may equal one item, but a half is something to itself. So 2+2 does not equal 4. Now this is far beyond the simple first grade math you were probably expecting, but this is how we break that box down. From this question alone think of all the new ways you see 2+2, now apply that thinking to the rest of your life.

Just because you've thought a certain way your entire life, doesn't mean you can't at least think there is another way of seeing things. Destroy that box. We are so quick to say what we "know". Why? Because everyone agrees with you? Because that's what you were taught? Because that's what you've always thought?

In the movie "Men in Black" Tommy Lee Jones explains something that I never forgot. It gave me a better perspective on how I approach things. "1500 years ago, everyone "knew" the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago everyone "knew" that the Earth was flat..."

2 minutes ago, you "knew" that 2+2=4

"...imagine what you'll "know" tomorrow."

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