Ostomy Memories Opens the Box


THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, I hear people say.  It has become a trite concept, not only because it is so often repeated ad nauseum, but because so many of the people to whom the directive is aimed weren’t even initially thinking INSIDE the box.  The idea, as commonly understood, is to encourage people to solve problems by forgetting about typical resolutions and coming up with creative solutions.  “Creativity,” said Albert Einstein, “is seeing what others see and thinking what no one else ever thought.”    But that’s a tall order for most people.  Plus, overthinking can be an enemy of creativity, particularly when it is actually inspiration that is needed to come up with new concepts.  The idea of thinking outside the box is on the right track by implying that getting rid of the confining box might well allow some new approaches to magically come into view.  But the cast of characters is important.  There’s not much point in asking a myopic worker to suddenly exhibit extraordinary vision.  That may result in more questions than answers, but if it’s a good question, that could lead eventually to a good answer. Yet, if there’s supposedly ‘no such thing as a stupid question,’ what kind of questions do stupid people ask?    


Unfortunately, my area of "stupid" is math so this one is my favorite!


Where is this box you speak of?

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Reply to SallyK

I think he's referring to the square cube that sits on all of shoulders...


Reply to Justbreathe

My brother the math prof says the answer is 5cm, in case anyone is wondering.  

How to Manage Ostomy Leaks with LeeAnne Hayden | Hollister

Hello HenryM. 
I have always been wary of using the term ‘Stupid’ to describe a person, their thinking, questioning, or their behaviour because so often the term is used in a derogatory sense to make out that the name-caller is somehow ‘better’ than those they are calling names. 
Upon closer examination of the context and the people concerned it might be seen that those whom may be regarded as less intelligent have often got good reason to be so: Those who act in what seems like a silly or time-wasting way might also have a plausible explanation as to why they are like they are. Some people simply do not have the same ‘capacity’ or ability to be ‘clever’ in a similar way to those who excel at something.
People who are ‘kind’ (as contrasted with ‘unkind’), will understand the differences between  capacity and ability, and will rarely perceive another human being as ‘stupid’, in a similar way that they would not classify a child or an animal as such.
Kind people tend to have empathy and understanding, so if they are asked questions, they will take them at face value within the context they are asked and find ways to answer, or help the individual questioner to find their own answers, no matter how basic they may seem to certain others. 
A classic example is when someone has had a stroke or other forms of brain damage, and is in the unfortunate position of having aphasia. I would maintain that it would be abusive to call them ‘stupid’ simply because they have an ‘affliction’. Neither would I call the name-caller ‘stupid’ because in this context they might be simply ‘ignorant’ or maybe have bullying tendencies. 
I once had a ‘friend and colleague’ who used to call people ‘stupid’ if they did not accord with her own perspectives on something. She did not have the capacity to perceive people as ‘different ‘ because she believed that if they did not agree with her, then they must be ‘wrong’(and in her eyes, this equated with stupidity). 
I think I have mentioned ‘Albert  on this site before. 
Albert was illiterate, yet was one of the most articulate and intelligent men I have ever had the privilege to have known.  Many ‘ignorant’ people might have called him ‘stupid’ for a variety of different reasons.
 I thank you for the opportunity to leave you with my rhyming memory of him below:

Best wishes



This Albert was a travelling man
but not one with a caravan.
He sheltered in a bender-tent
and thus avoided paying rent.

I know he was illiterate
and probably innumerate.
Yet living in obscurity
he had achieved maturity.

As we sat with wooded fire
certain things I would admire.
With every subject Albert’s wit
was well-aimed to harpoon it.

Albert had an ambience
born from his experience.
His cup seemed full, right to the brim
wild creatures came to sup with him.

He swapped tent for a new flat
and seemed to be content with that.
Once settled into his new home
there was no need for him to roam.

Albert always had good health
even though he had no wealth.
He went to hospital one day
but there he caught MRSA.

Though Albert is now long-since dead
I still recall the things he said
and how those fruitful little talks
come back to me on my long walks.

I’m glad that I was Albert’s friend
right up until the very end.
I’m pleased that I could squeeze his hand
and know that he would understand.

                                                                B. Withers 2012 

                      (In: A Rhyming Cookbook  2013)

Reply to Bill

I take your point, Bill, that "stupid" is a pejorative, like the N word.  It demeans someone's lack of intelligence, rather than their race or ethnicity.  Yet, looking at all the synonyms for the word "stupid," they are all negative as well.  Donald Trump likes to call people "low IQ individuals" which I have always considered classic projection on his part.  That's not a good choice, nor is dim-witted, ignorant, or low capacity.  I confess to being at a loss as to what to call stupid people without insulting them.  I would call someone like the Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene stupid to her face.  If that means I'm unkind, I guess I'll have to accept that designation.  

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