What brought the shelf down?

posted Oct 14, 2017, 10:51 AM by David Alan Binder

What brought the shelf down?

You stack stuff on the shelf, books, boxes of stuff, sports memorabilia, stuff you are stashing away to deal with later, stuff you want but don’t want right now in your living room, stuff you might need, we all have lots of stuff.

The other day I was stacking all this stuff on the shelf and it fell down.  What made it fall down?  The last item I put on the shelf was a box of envelopes written a long time ago from my Dad to me (I really don’t have many of them and will never get any more since he died many years ago, so I want to keep them.)

So, what broke the shelf.  It was not that last box, since that was just the last item but it wasn’t that heavy by itself.  It was not the first box, since the box stayed up and did not break.  It was not all the boxes in the middle, which I put on the shelf.

It was the accumulation of ALL that stuff, which broke the shelf.  Not any one of those items.

It was not my intention to break the shelf.  Far from it, my intention was to keep stuff.

Now give me some leeway.  What if your mind, was a shelf?  And what if you put lots of stuff in your mind?  What if some of that stuff causes your mind to break?  Causes your mind to go crazy and insane.  It is not the individual items; it is how each of those individual items interact with the other items.  Until you get the data moment where one of the items does not work well with the other items.

So in order for you to have some cohesiveness we tend to let like items, get put together with other like items.  Items that won’t fight with the other items we want to keep.

 Our brain is vast and mighty and rules us rather well.  As long as we keep it from being juxtaposed.  So if we believe in one thing, we cannot let it stand along something that is it’s opposite. 

 This may not be the best metaphor but I’m using it.

Say, if you believe in Mother’s love and that it is never does anything wrong or that will hurt someone, then that belief won’t fit alongside the belief that Mother’s love sometimes is abusive.


Unless, you can create a caveat that says, well sometimes a Mother’s love is abusive.


In stories sometimes we have to stack different ideas on a shelf and suspend some belief for a short time or the duration of the book.  Sometimes, even if we do not believe in the Norse Gods we allow them to “live” alongside a single God.  We humans are adept at allowing these kinds of things to coincide for a time.


At other times, we will only allow absolutes live in our brain.  This is a stretch just to make a point.  If we believe there is absolutely only one color of grass, it is grass green, and there are no other grasses, brown, yellow, light green or dark green.

Or we allow only grass to inhabit our world in our mind and there are no weeds allowed ever.  Only beautiful, 1 and ½ inch tall, smooth, soft green grass.


Dear Readers and Dear Writers, allow your mind to absorb different ideas, allow your mind to cohabitate with other radical ideas, or ideas foreign to you.  Those ideas may give you growth.  Those other ideas may give you resolve.  Those other ideas may give you discovery about something that you had never entertained before.


Just an idea.  Tell me what you think.  Thanks