Sometimes when I have bought some electronic gadget (oh, where my money goes!) the box will have a “What’s in the Package” list. It might be *Main item, *Adapter, *Cord, *Stand, *Instruction manual. In case of “Some Assembly Required” (don’t you just love those) the list may have things like 6 bolts, washers and wrench included.
These lists are helpful as a check to see if everything really was included, or if anything else is needed to make it work. Perhaps a nice accessory can be added, or you need a longer cable, but the What’s in the Box list lets you know your starting point.
Every person is a unique package, a designer’s work, that has been put together with capabilities and purpose known best by the designer. The underscored word here is unique. My packaging is not like yours, nor yours like your brother, spouse, parent. We arrive on earth with
everything that is in the box, but we have no list that comes with us.
Now the problem arises. What is this thing for? How is it used? Does it take pictures or clean ceiling fans, wash the laundry or heat the house, write sonatas or heal the sick? Having no idea what is in the box, many parents begin to use the object in a wrongful way which brings ruination to the object and displeasure to everyone. Picture trying to mop the floor with a candelabra. Bake a loaf of bread on the music box. Paint the walls with a hammer.
The result of this misuse is often ruined lives and a huge loss to our mutual society. Tales abound of parents shoving children toward a career of medicine or law when what is in their package is an ability to craft magnificent things with their hands. Forced to work in a field unsuited to their design, people move into emotional disease of anger, depression, and sense of failure. The reality is, they do fail because that is not what is in their box.
Some children are born to care-less parents who neither treasure them, nor help them explore their unique package. The child, trying to sort out what life is all about, begins to reason: If these big important people don’t like me, or hurt me, there must be something terribly wrong with me. The child seldom if ever thinks that there is something wrong with the big adult. The little one concludes that whatever is in his box is wrong, terribly wrong. The seed of self-hatred has been sown, leading to a diseased adult who self-medicates his or her pain in all sorts of self-destructive ways.
One answer to the growing problem of malfunctioning adults is to begin with the unexplored package, looking for what’s inside and then using it correctly. What part of society will begin to teach into this, stressing the need to see each package as valuable? From where I sit, only the church has any clue about the worth of each life. Yet some churches in attempting to turn out cookie cutter Christians fail to understand the uniqueness of each individual, thus contributing to the problem.
It is vital that we each begin to look inside our own boxes, recognize the enormous value therein. Then we can begin to live fully satisfying lives, sharing with others and contributing our gift to the world.