Box: Peers and surroundings

Afrikrown Annual Art Exhibition

This article is the second in a 10 part series of a general theme aptly named “Box” which refers to an accumulation of all the information that an individual has been exposed to since they were born. The Box is a state some people are comfortable with but we are encouraged to try and break out from it to actually reach our full potential. Here is the link for part one of the series on Culture and Traditions…
Now we focus on our topic of the day which is Peers and Surroundings which together form just about the hardest box to break out from as they are the source of our greatest joys and can often be the source of the limits we impose on our lives. We shall utilize some definitions of the two terms and thereafter attempt to show why exactly they are boxes and how to break out of them effectively if needed.
The two terms in our topic today are quite broad and have a deep impact on our lives so I’ll write on them separately on how they can be boxes before I attempt to show how to break out of them.
A peer is someone who is or something that is at a level or of a value equal to that of someone or something else. It is also seen as someone who is approximately the same age.
It was a shock to me to see the first definition as our usual use of the word tallies closer to the second definition which is about age groups but the prior definition is a much better fit for the word as one’s age mate may not necessarily be his/her equal in the most crucial of areas needed to succeed in life… “the mind”.
The way I see Peers being a box is with respect to the second definition where we now choose our friends and “equals” from our age groups when the mindset of those people can be worlds apart from our mindset and then we persist in being friends with them and overtime start changing our values and goals to suit the “peers” we have chosen when they were never our peers in the true sense of the word because they were never our equal in the first place when we look at their mindsets.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that those friends in our age groups that we choose who don’t have equal mindsets to us are bad or lesser humans, it’s just that we see the world differently and the sooner we realize this and stop forcing those friendships to keep going, the sooner we can break free of the peer box and seek out our true peers in terms of the mindset we have.
The second term in our topic is surroundings which means the area surrounding someone or something together in the vicinity. In other words, our environment. This box is the bigger box to which peers belong and to which Culture and Traditions also belong, so it is not an easy box to deal with in just a few paragraphs but there is a key aspect to it that we should note.
There is a school of thought in psychology that speaks about why people turn out the way they do in their adult life and they argue which of the two plays a bigger role in determining how we are in our adult stage and it is called “Nature vs Nurture”. Nature has to do with the temperaments and personalities pre-downloaded into us from the moment of our births while Nurture has to do with what happens to us while we go through life that changes us.
Surroundings are the biggest player in Nurture as everything that happens to us happens to us in our environment and so we learn from those past experiences and come to see it as the true way to live life, going as far as to look down on others who live life differently to us.
The simplest way (but extremely hard to do in practice) to break out of this box is to be open-minded and allow that our way of life as our environment (nurture) has come to teach us may not be the best way to live life and be open to learning from each person that we meet as they all have something to teach us if we are open-minded enough to accept. It’s that simple and paradoxically that hard to accomplish.

To better understand, head on to the origin of this article series.

Article 2 — Cultures and traditions

This article was written by Uaifo (uaifoojo@gmail.com) for Afrikrown

Culture, Art and Places. _Africa_