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  • Writer's pictureSteven Acker

The A File: Boundaries


The topic of today’s entry is “Boundaries.”

All creatures great and small exist within boundaries. Few of them know where those boundaries lie until they reach them and test them. Some cross over their boundaries, often with dire consequences.

Farm animals have fences. If they somehow find their way to the other side of the fence, purposefully or unwittingly, they may get lost and they may starve. Family pets sometimes have invisible fences to hold them in. If they should bump into the fence, they get shocked. They may try it again and again, but eventually they learn where the boundaries lie and they no longer approach them

In prison, if you cross another inmate’s boundaries you might pay for it with your life. If you attempt to cross the boundary to freedom, you might also pay for it with your life.

In interpersonal relationships, both business and personal, each party has certain boundaries which, when crossed, can jeopardize the relationship.

Well, when a farm animal crosses the farmer’s boundaries, if the animal is valuable, the farmer will go after it and retrieve it. If not, the farmer may just let that animal go. The question then is, is this animal (me) valuable enough to retrieve? And can this animal adjust to his boundaries and find contentment within them?

And the answers, of course, are yes. If farm animals can learn the boundaries, so can people. It's one of secrets to sustaining lifelong friendships.

Steven Acker


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