Lately I’ve noticed, the ever-popular phrase “think out side the box” doesn’t hold much meaning anymore or has become anything but profound. After years of cliché the words do little more than conjure memories of Taco Bell commercials and news headlines from the software boom. Unfortunately the paradigm, the meaning, of the statement is brilliant. A fact that most people tend to know but choose to forget giving the wisdom lesser value than it so rightfully deserves.
Recently I learned of a brain condition that has redefined and reinforced it’s meaning to me. There’s a condition called left-side neglect, it’s is a condition that occurs in people who have suffered a brain injury on the right side of their head. The condition cases the individuals then to forget, or in some cases even acknowledge the existence of the left side of their body. Men will forget to shave the left side of their face and women might completely forget to apply make-up on the right side of their face.
The interesting part is, the eyes and optical nerve of the effected person are completely undamaged, and physically they are capable. It is only when someone else bring attention to their mistake do they recognize. The evidence of their inattention is always (pun intended), staring them in the face. Left-side neglect can be successfully treated in many cases; doctors will put a type of prism lens over their eyes to redirect sight back to the left side or force patients to use and acknowledge only the left side of their body. Retraining the brain to be balanced again.
The nature of this condition is so interesting and motivating at the same time to me. Do we healthy brained people suffer from the same inattention, but slightly more complicated. How many times have you said, “why didn’t I think of that” about someone’s great idea that seemed so obvious. Or perhaps get stuck in your own ways, or someone else’s for that matter. Only being able to recognize your actions when another person brings them to your attention, how many possibilities are waiting to be realized.
So, I guess it’s not necessarily “think outside the box”, but think outside your own recognition, your own realization, free from the normative. We might make our own prism’s to see our environment, and we may be able to create the objects and the environments we always have told people and our selves we were capable of. The classical film director Frank Capra once said:
“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something”