Where is the Box We Think Out Of

I'm not sure when it happened but during our lifetimes a psychologist or advertising genius, thoughtful educator or crazed hippie came up with the idea that we ALL needed to think outside the box. This was an interesting way of saying that if you live in a rut (and most of us do) you should jump out of that thing and try to see the world in a different way. We should always be looking for something different... something new.

So here we all are, getting older each day but still looking for something new. For some of us, it's those brand new eyeglasses with the tinted lenses we just couldn't live without but can't find. For others it may be a way to finally get along with a sister-in-law or the neighbor whose tree hangs over the fence. Some of us never found the box and that is a good thing. For members of that group, it's always the little things that drive them nuts, but they handle it.

Ah yes, there are some of us who took this seriously and looked way beyond the little stuff. These were the people who changed our world. Some of them propelled us into the universe. They helped us walk on the moon. Some developed cures for otherwise deadly diseases. Some made machines to mass produce hamburgers and other machines to squirt the exact dose of secret sauce as each burger passed by. If you know the secret of secret sauce, please let me know. Battery powered cars? How many of us really thought that would happen beyond the tiny ones we bought for our kids as gifts?

Years ago when I was a young businesswoman, I loved the idea of thinking outside of the box to find advertising promotions and ways for retailers to make better sales. It stands to reason that a community newspaper only does as well as its businesses. With the help of some very creative individuals, we knocked at least one hole in the box down, designing some great promotions while having a lot of fun. I always knew our retailers had as good of a time as we did... that's the only thing that matters.

I spent years trying to find out how to think my way into making things better for our customers and our company. I guess it's like a marriage, only different. As it turns out, each combination of humans will come up with different ideas to challenge the box. In the end, the oldest business in Tillamook County turned out to have the most remarkable talent. The Headlight-Herald, in competition for advertising idea of the year, beat The Oregonian and every other member of the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Assn.

Think about yourself and the changes in your life with each day, month and year. We are always changing and most of us are always looking for something that will make our lives easier or better in some way. Of all the people I know, the most curious are the Geezers. They want to know what is new and exciting in the field of health care, technology and nutrition. Many are drawn to the arts. It can be a play or concert on air or in the city... but it could be something local, an arts presentation or something from students. We are surrounded by the arts if you give them a chance.

I love old people because many of them are curious about new things. They don't really give a darn about boxes or thinking outside of them. They know what they want and they want it now. A perfect example is my mom. Her 89th birthday is coming up and she decided she wanted to celebrate at the new Albany Carousel Museum. This is truly out of the box thinking. If you figure that she is the second of eight children, you can use your imagination as to the ages of all the others... with exception of one sister who passed, the youngest of this group is in his mid-seventies.

The plan is to bring us all to this place, eat hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (no crust), chips, sodas and a secret surprise. Oh yes, in addition we can ride the carousel on a bench or our choice of animal.

My own mother has outdone me on out of the box thinking. She had lots of help from family members, and we're off! We've found a way to celebrate outside the box and can hardly wait. Here we go with that genetic thing... we think out of boxes in our family. :) I recommend it highly!

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