Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Long-Reaching Effects of Pandora's Pretty Box

The other day, while in Barnes and Noble with Cheryl and Melody, I picked up a book on Greek Myths. It was a pop-up book, and I immediately opened to the page with Pandora's box, ornate and beautifully decorated, and at the top, it said, "Do Not Touch."
Whether or not you've ever picked up a Greek Myth, or studied them or believe them or think they have merit or not, you've still probably heard the story of Pandora's Box -- and of Pandora herself.
Pandora was given a gift by the gods, a beautiful box, and told not to open it under any circumstances. However, her curiosity overcame her and she opened it, and everything except for the thing that lay at the very bottom escaped. That thing at the bottom? Hope.
Today, we still have the "Pandora's Box Syndrome." When someone says, "Don't touch this," most people immediately try to devise a way to touch it. It's human nature. It's always been human nature. As soon as something is forbidden, it becomes more attractive and we want it more.
My youth pastor told a story once about his two oldest daughters. They were living in a house with one of the old stoves that gets hot - too hot to touch. He told the girls not to touch it, and the oldest one immediately went up and plastered her hand across it. She obviously burned herself. The younger one, watching her older sister carefully, I imagine went up to it, and got close (mom and dad a bit worried), she pointed to it and said, "Don't touch. It's hot."
Most of us though, take the first approach. Don't touch the wet paint. Don't poke yourself in the eye. Don't feed the bears. Well why can't I feed the bears? They're behind the bars, after all.

Pandora's box. One thing she couldn't do. Eve's apple. One thing they couldn't eat.
The difference between the stories, though, is significant. We have the thing that was left in the bottom of Pandora's beautiful, never-meant-to-be-opened box.

1 comment:

Melody said...

I did a similar thing with the electric stove when I was a little kid. Holly never tried it.

Holly also never drew in books after hearing me get laid into about it.