Authentic persons

Social interaction is organized around the boxes and lines on the social checkerboard. We relate primarily to persons in our own square and in nearby squares. We drink coffee, bowl, vacation, dine, travel, and swim with people in our own or neighboring boxes. It’s a very rare occasion indeed when we relate intimately with persons living in boxes at the other side of the board. There is a strong expectation to be “friendly and neighborly” to “inbox” members. There is little obligation to go “out of our way” for people in faraway boxes. We invite people to our house from similar boxes. This way we need not worry about dealing with strange, weird, and stupid people living in other squares who do “funny” things…. The most tragic consequence of boxing is that we tend to relate to people on the basis of the label on their box rather than encountering them as authentic persons. It’s difficult for us to get around the box and meet the real person.

Donald Kraybill
The Upside-Down Kingdom