Like most people, when I look at an empty diaper box I see something that needs to be tossed into the recycling bin. When I see an empty paper towel roll it means it's time to put out a new roll. I don't see anything special or valuable there. It's just trash. Or at least, that's how I used to think.
I recently sorted out the mess that's known as Annabel's closet. Inside I found what I would call a small junkyard. Glued together in a huge heap was a monstrosity of boxes, pieces of paper, paper plates and string. I was about to stuff it into a garbage sack when Annabel stopped me. This wasn't trash, she told me. It was a magical fortress where epic battles were fought and good triumphed over evil, and if I threw it out, the entire world would be in jeopardy. I was doubtful, but I took a second look...just to be on the safe side. Sure enough, I saw carefully illustrated characters in the midst of heroic deeds lining the inside "walls" and miniature toothpick "swords" hanging within easy reach of the fortresses defenders. After hearing the entire epic tale, I decided to let the fortress continue its existence for a little while longer (until recycling day or until the cat had squashed it beyond all recognition, whichever came first).
The lesson I learned from all this is that you really can't judge something by outward appearance. Greatness can be hiding inside a humble exterior and if you're not careful, you could be throwing out the last bastion of goodness in the universe before its had a chance to defeat the evil overlord.