Most of us stay in our little boxes, sometimes for a lifetime. That box may be a way of thinking, a way of approaching faith, a political party, you fill in the blank. But now more than ever in these divided times and fractured communities we need boundary crossers. People who will leave their comfortable realities and venture beyond.
Boundary crossers become a ‘one man (or woman) boundary force’. Because they are able to create bastions of understanding and often end up being a force for building bridges of unity. Such was Mahatma Gandhi, a complex world figure who broke paradigms right and left. Gandhi was born in India, studied in England, was formed and tested in South Africa, and led the greatest movement for freedom through non-violence in history.
I am reading a book right now titled A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, by Daniel Pink. It is one of many books coming out on the fascinating area of brain science. Some of them (though not this one) also approach the connections between the brain and faith.
Daniel Pink on page 134 writes of the ‘boundary crossers’. According to Pink, people like this develop expertise in multiple spheres, they speak different languages, and they find joy in the rich variety of human experience. They live multi lives- because that’s more interesting and, nowadays, more effective.
Boundary crossers can’t be confined in one political party, or one issue. They see connections and relationships between domains that others don’t see. Such was Gandhi. He could never be confined, even within his religion of birth.
Our rapidly changing world demands more boundary crossers, statesmen and stateswomen who build bridges and make connections. For example, I would love to see more viable political parties in the United States, not just Republicans or Democrats. Creating major new political parties will take people who are boundary crossers.
There are many areas where we need new structures in our world today. We have outgrown so many of them. Some need to die. Some organizations and movements need to end, or fade away.
What boundary are you to cross? How can you, like Gandhi, become a one person boundary force because of your willingness to absorb hate and pain?