I feel the walls on every side of me, above me, and below me. I’ve been trapped before, but it seems like the walls have grown taller, more dense, more suffocating.
I start punching and kicking my way out. And as I kick, I grow—until I’ve become too big for the box to contain.
I don’t fit inside your box anymore. I never did, but now it’s clear to you.
If you put me in that box, I will scrape and scratch and claw until I am free from the confines of your ignorance. Because I don’t belong in that box. I am so much more than a prisoner of thought. I am more than a slave to a system that encourages mindless acceptance of labels, as if that’s all we are.
We’re not expected to understand the people around us. We’re taught to just compartmentalize them, demonize them, or glorify them. Acquire surface level knowledge of a person (race, sex, creed), and tell ourselves that that’s enough to formulate an opinion.
Don’t bother to truly learn the depths of their being. We already know them based on artificial archetypes. There is nothing they can say or do that would surprise us. So we think.
And isn’t that just what bigots do? Make assumptions? They learn one thing about a person and believe they need look no further into that person’s inner workings, to see as the world sees.
Don’t put me in that box. I will break it down again and again. I will defy expectations over and over until you finally realize that small-minded and simple explanations are for small-minded people. You may feel more comfortable in your box—less challenged, and more submissive and compliant though it may make you.
But that doesn’t work for me.
So take your box, your preconceived judgments, and hide away in it. But don’t be surprised to hear that the rest of us would rather be free.