Really Looking at the Pieces

I often think that life is like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Just a crazy number of tiny pieces spread across a giant table. Jigsaw puzzles (at least to my mind) are more fun when assembled with others. It is a little lonely and pointless working on a puzzle by yourself (unless there is a clear benefit involved) as the point of a puzzle is to spend time with others… the point is not the final image, but the time spent talking of big things and small things… or perhaps in comfortable silence.

We go through life meeting people and having experiences. If we have our eyes and ears open – if we choose to see who these people are, they are an awful lot like pieces in a giant puzzle. And like the random pieces of a puzzle spread across a table, we can notice that this piece has a little bit of green, just like this other piece… and sometimes discover pieces that fit. We can connect people with other people, or people and experiences that might be of interest to them. Or jobs… or learning, or inspirational opportunities…

I keep thinking “What if the entire world worked like this?” “What if we all kept our eyes open to the people we meet and really listened to their stories and were open to seeing where we can help?”

If we all thought about ways to enrich the lives of those who cross our paths, if we looked out for the interests of strangers and not merely our friends and not merely ourselves? What a world it could be…

There are a lot of good people in the world. I am inclined to think that most folks are pretty decent folks. We may not agree on all subjects and perhaps on subjects important to us, but if treated with respect and kindness most folks share more in common than not.

I am optimistic. As our world becomes more interconnected, as we become more familiar with backgrounds different than our own, each generation I believe is moving towards a better world. Yes there is a lot of crap out there. Lots of horror and the building blocks of nightmares… but I still believe that we are capable of better. There is much good in the world and we are each pieces of the puzzle and we have the capacity to assemble ourselves one piece at a time. I think there will be a beautiful picture at the end. But the point is not the picture… the point is the process of putting it together and enjoying the others around the table… and listening to their stories and seeing where we might find pieces that fit.

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