Thinking Outside the Playpen

This poem teaches how we should examine our own thinking, so we can advance beyond our own personal limitations, and discover exciting things that are waiting for us to learn.


Most of us think what we like
From the things we don’t like— take a hike,
But can be advantageous,
          exciting, courageous
To uncover a mental gold strike.

Because we command our own
          box full of sand
We focus on things near at hand,
But it narrows our scope, makes it harder to grope
For new things we may not understand.

Yet we do like to think we’re wise men
When we examine things time and again,
But the world is so peach, just beyond our short reach
From inside our private playpen.

If we think we have figured it out
In our minds there is no room for doubt,
A volcano hides there, which can sneak up from where
It can suddenly wake up and spout.

In our minds we have built a stone wall
So we miss all the things that seem small.
When we spread them about, in the sun lay them out
We may see a new pattern they scrawl.

Fresh gold usually comes with a twist
When we find there is something we’ve missed,
That was hiding right there, on our desk by our chair
If true value we really insist.

So, we reach for what looks like gold rocks
Grab hold things from out of our box,
To sharpen our view, take a look at what’s new
To strength our set of toy blocks.

Outside my playpen I am told
Are the things new, exciting and bold,
So I gathered in rocks from outside of my box
To discover they’re made of pure gold.

So, don’t shy away from the things that I say,
Though a fresh point of view may be rare,
If you look really close, you will get all the most
For there just may be gold hiding there.

by John N. Hait


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Update 1-31-2010