Thinking Outside of the Box

Have you ever heard a particular catch-phrase uttered so frequently that it seems to have lost its real meaning over time? Have you ever heard a phrase uttered by people who are clueless as to the true meaning of the words which are strung together that they ring hollow and sound stupid? Are they are just saying them because it seems like they should? Sadly this happens all too frequently.

I know I have had this sad experience all too often. In this case the phrase involves the words which form the title for this week's visit with you. If one more person asks me to think outside of the box I believe that I may be forced to smack them. Where in the heck do these people think I have spent my time for the past 30 years?

Many have been the times when my words were poorly received by all around me. I can recall the time I created a regional consolidation plan for the county wherein the Newark Fire Department is located. I was pilloried, reviled, and loathed by many in the fire departments around Newark. That was 1990.

Let us jump ahead to 2006. Articles now abound about how fire departments need to join together and deliver their services through regionalization and inter-local agreements. Guess what? It is a bitch being a man ahead of his own time.

Fortunately things like that did not stop me from continuing my search for the truth. My thoughts usually challenged the norms of the group I was working with and took them to a point outside of their comfort zone. Perhaps that is the box we should continue to attack: the box of comfortable living.

However I really think that we need to come to some understanding of what this box of which we hear so much spoken really is. Just what is this box about which you and I hear so much? I think that the best place to begin my discussion of the box of thought revolves around another set of words which we all frequently hear.

Those words are "conventional wisdom." You know what I mean. Some one will state that "