Outside The Box

It’s a beautiful day for an epiphany. Bright sunshine beaming through a crystal blue sky illuminates glowing patches of color against the graying background of our mountain. We begin the day in gratitude. Gratitude, we believe, is the best life preserver for the spirit.

For a number of years that I don’t desire to count, this space has hosted an effort to find a middle path between extremes as we’ve watched the nation become more divided and partisan. Our efforts have been based on the premise that the truth can usually be found in a balance between the extremes.

I’m ready to set that theory aside. I think there is some truth in it still. but there is a greater truth. In this zeitgeist of tribalism, the truth is often nowhere near the middle. It’s not even on the same plane. It is, in effect, “outside the box” entirely.

We like to think that we’re still learning, and that means that when we get new information, we should be able to change our minds. This is what we have observed:

We’ve seen highly intelligent people so conditioned by a manipulated flow of information that their learning processes are boxed in by their own confirmation bias. When we’re presented with information that is outside the tribal paradigm, it’s almost like a three dimensional being is attempting to describe a stack of notebooks to those of us who have spent our entire lives on a two dimensional sheet of paper.

We’re not two dimensional beings, but we think we are, and that is our comfort zone. Funny thing about “comfort zones.” They can be downright uncomfortable, but risking change or the unknown seems even more so. When information appears that challenges our bias, we don’t understand. It makes us uncomfortable or angry, or we just ignore it.

That’s why logic and reason fails to reach intelligent people who are more than capable of both.

Back to the epiphany. It’s been at least four years in the making, and the recent election sealed it. When we shared information here that we thought (from our own confirmation bias) was reasonable and non partisan, we often received either tribal anger from both sides – or stone cold silence.

So we are departing from the “middle path,” because that path, in its entirety, is inside “the box.” We want to look outside. We want to look inward. We want to look up. What we propose to do now is to present stories and perspectives that invite us to do that.

We hope you will join us on this new adventure. We intend to explore some new ideas and perspectives, to look in some dusty corners, to revive some forgotten histories, to peek behind curtains and to circle back to some roads not taken.

I want to thank all the friends and fellow travelers who have walked the path with us to this fork in the road, but we’re weary of treading on this same old map. We’re tired of the box, and our efforts have become onerous. They taste medicinal, like an off brand of artificial grape flavored antacid, and quite frankly, they haven’t been much fun lately. So let’s have some fun now and find more opportunities to laugh when we can. Life is a gift and an adventure. That’s the path we want to share now, and we think it’s the best path outside the box.

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