by Nicolette Bethel
It seems to me that in this society, we're very good at boxing. And no, I'm not talking about the Elisha Obed/Boston Blackie/Ray Minus kind of boxing here; I'm talking about the kind of boxing that creates neat little categories to fit things into and then proceeds to sort the messiness of life into those categories. We've got boxes for political affiliation, boxes for religious belief, boxes for skin colour, boxes for hair texture, boxes for work, boxes for home, boxes for school.
We're very good at separating stuff. We're not so good at putting stuff together.
Now it's not unusual that human beings categorize things. As human beings, we like to put things and people into groups. How we define our groups is what makes cultures different; what we consider to be fixed, immutable groups in The Bahamas, for instance, may be very different from what people in China or Zimbabwe or Jamaica consider to be fixed, immutable groups. Researchers have written very interesting papers on this habit, in fact; ask me about the bear and the barber sometime.