So last Saturday I started writing about responsibility and later said that I’d get off my soapbox. It later hit me…where in the world did that saying come from? I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, as have I, but have never really put much thought into it. What is a soapbox really? I mean, the soap that I use comes in bars and are in packages of 8 bars…but no box. I guess initially they’re stored in a box when they’re shipped to the various stores, but those are boxes made of cardboard. So…time for some research.
Throughout the 19th Century and into the 20th, prior to the invention of corrugated cardboard manufacturers used wooden crates for the shipment of wholesale merchandise to retail establishments. Discarded containers, surprisingly well-constructed and sturdy, were readily available in towns of every size. These “soapboxes” made free and easily portable temporary platforms for street corner speakers attempting to be seen and heard at improvised “outdoor meetings,” to which passersby would gather to hear often provocative speeches on religious or political themes.
Ok, makes sense. Obviously it made more sense to people that had these wooden crates, but how about us in the 21st century? Maybe not as of an impact, but the saying continues on.
Wikipedia also says that:
A modern form of the soapbox is a blog.
Hmmm…well, I guess so? I can see how that can very easily happen. While I don’t think I’ll be writing a ton here, I’ll try to limit my soapbox ‘speeches’ to only Saturdays, calling them “Soapbox Saturday”s. In them, I’ll tackle timely events that are in the news and other common sense issues that appear to be…well…out-of-whack. Cool?