The Mysterious Box

January 26, 2012
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When I was born, my parents received a box in the mail from my grandfather. It was a rather large box, and it came with a note from grandfather, addressed to “my dearest granddaughter.” In the note, he instructed me and my parents to not open the box until I was sixteen years-old. As strange as this seemed to my parents, they neither questioned nor argued about it. The box was placed in the basement, where it sat for sixteen years.



During the first few years of my life, I cared little about the mysterious box in the basement that I was not allowed to even touch. At the time, there were many things I was not allowed to do, so what was one more thing? It barely sparked my curiosity when a similar box was shipped to my house the day my brother was born and placed beside my box. In fact, I was even a little comforted by the fact that I wasn’t the only one out of the secret.



However, when the birth of my sister brought a third similar box from my grandfather, the curioiusity started to grow. What could possibly be in this box? Why must it be shielded from me and my siblings until we were at least sixteen-years-old? None of the possibilities my limited kindergarten mind could imagine seemed to make any sense, and of course, my parents were no help whatsoever in solving the mystery.



As time went on, I forgot about the three boxes in the basement. It wasn’t until a month before my sixteenth birthday when thoughts of the box returned, and this time I was excited. Throughout my entire sixteen years of being kept in the dark, never was it harder to bear than it was during that last month. And once again, an ounslaught of possibilities filled my head, each one less and less likely.



Finally, the morning of my sixteenth birthday dawned, and I thought of nothing but the long-awaited oppurtunity to open my box. My parents and siblings shared in my excitement because they too had been excluded from the knowledge of what the box contained. With my family gathered around me, I opened the box with a beating heart…



Newspaper after newspaper, stacks of magazines, tapes with scribbled on titles such as “Good Morning America” and “Fox News.” On the day of my birth, my grandfather had gone out and purchased every newspaper and magazine he could get his hands on, and had taped every news program his TV would show. I stared in disbelief at the box, filled with more than 100 pieces of news each from the day I was born, wondering how much time and money my grandfather had invensted into obtaining them all.



A journalist himself, my grandfather had always had a high respect for news and the media and the way in which they were allowed to run. It was his firm belief that since the world was home to every person on it, every person had the right to know what happened with in it, and until I opened my box, I had never understood his passion behind it.



To him, this box of news wasn’t just news. It represented the world and the people in it. From the day I was born, he wanted to show me that whatever the world had to offer, whether it was corrupt or just, was all available for me know. He had attempted to preserve the culture of the world at the time of my birth in one box.



Now, more than ever, I understand where my grandfather is coming from. We have government to show us the way the world is supposed to work, and we have news to show us the way it is actually working. And nothing showed me this more clearly than this small, mysterious box.





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