The Usefulness of Cardboard

Have you ever stopped to think about how much use you get out of a commonplace and ordinary item that probably took little time (and few resources) to make? The cheap things in your life that are almost invisible to you on the daily simply because you use them so often?

I try to take in what’s around me on a daily basis as if I’m seeing them anew. This doesn’t always work, of course, as life gets in the way of things and I’m in a rush sometimes to get other things done. But I find that when I stop to just recognize everything around me, I notice some fascinating things.

Take trees, for example. They’re literally everywhere yet sometimes nonexistent to us. And yet without them, we would be the nonexistent ones. It’s a pretty deep and wild thought, I’ll admit, but it’s absolutely true that we take our forests and wooded areas for granted. For all the environmental movements out there that promise to plant a new tree for every _____, there’s a bigger logging company busy churning out the wood and destroying the environment even more.

So when it comes to the everyday, certain things stick out. For me? It’s cardboard boxes. Everytime I come home from work, I see at least one package on a doorstep of someone’s apartment within our courtyard. And these packages are almost exclusively cardboard.

Yet that’s not the only place I see cardboard. At work, we have a lot of carbonated drinks in the fridge. What else would they be housed in but cardboard?

And I know I almost always have something made of cardboard in my truck. From what? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I’d bet a hundred bucks there’s something made of cardboard lying in my back floorboards.

What is all of this trying to say? Mostly that we fail to see the commonplace things in our lives. This doesn’t just go for tangible objects like cardboard boxes, either. For example, I often dwell on my bad luck. Whether it’s in the video games I play or my luck with traffic lights every morning on the way to work, I often dote on the bad instead of recognizing the good. Good and bad luck likely weigh out to be pretty even in my life, yet the bad always captures my attention.

What little things should you pay more attention to in your everyday life that often escape you?