Life’s Jigsaw Puzzle Made Easy
Life’s Jigsaw Puzzle Made Easy
June 7, 2013
Winston Wayne Wilson
Life is a puzzle but it does not have to be puzzling
everyone around us is a piece of the solution – W. Wayne Wilson
People always say that life is a puzzle. It is – one giant jigsaw puzzle. Every one of the seven billion or so people in the world is a piece of the solution to this global puzzle. Therefore, if all seven billion of us were pieced together, a global picture would emerge. That picture would tell our collective story and solve all of life’s mysteries. Only God has the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence to solve that puzzle and to see that infinite picture.
So, then, what is our role as mere mortals in solving life’s puzzles and what pictures are our human eyes able to see when the pieces come together? Well, within the giant, global jigsaw puzzle, there are mini jigsaw puzzles. In other words, think of a giant picture with several smaller pictures in it – smaller scenes if you will. So while there are approximately seven billion people in the world, the people in our lives represent pieces of a mini jigsaw puzzle. It is that mini jigsaw puzzle that we are supposed to solve. So whether there are 10, 20, 50, 100 or 1,000 people in our lives, they all represent pieces of the puzzle that we are to solve. When we solve the puzzle, the big picture will become clearer. It is also then that we will be able to read our stories and understand the purpose of our lives.
It is said that everyone comes into our lives for a reason. Invariably for a mutual reason. That person is simultaneously a carrier of a piece of solution to our puzzle and the person is also the intended recipient for the piece of solution that we carry for his or her puzzle. In short, we were meant to connect to that person to solve something in his or her life and for the person to solve something in our lives. The puzzles in our lives represent problems. Problems relating to love, finances, spirituality, self-esteem, finding purpose, accepting rejection, health, career, and so on.
You will find that life takes on a whole new meaning when you start looking at everyone in your life and asking, “What can I solve in this person’s life and what can this person solve in mine.” Even when it appears that someone can offer you nothing, that is not true. For example, many people who set out to help people who are disadvantaged discover that people who are disadvantaged wind up helping them. Why? Because people who don’t have food, clothes and money, can still know how to laugh, have courage, and have a strong moral and spiritual compass – which might be things that we need to learn to solve our own personal problems.
I read a wonderful story a while ago, I believe it was by Dr. Maya Angelou, who talked about an African American maid who, after serving a delectable Thanksgiving meal to a white family, was given the opportunity to spend time with her own family. That year, she was able to bring her family to the house but they had to stay in the maid’s quarters. As the white family was having dinner, they heard laughter coming from the maid’s quarters and wondered what could people without the privilege they enjoyed have to celebrate and laugh about. Compelled by this, they left their sumptuous table and joined the maid and her family in their celebration.
The number one mistake we make in life is thinking that certain people have nothing to teach us. Like poor, homeless people; or children – just because they are young and dependent; or people who are the dregs of society and are locked up in prison. The truth is that, irrespective of a person’s age, moral bent, race or status in life, everyone we encounter can teach us something – even if that something is to avoid making the mistakes that he or she has made.
There is a lot written on the subject of regrets to avoid at the end of life. One regret to definitely avoid is not making enough human connections. When we don’t make enough human connections then we don’t get to solve our problems or the problems of others. When problems remain unsolved, then jigsaw puzzle pieces remain scattered and no picture emerges. Stories, therefore, remain untold. Remember, we are here to tell those stories. I leave you today with a quote from Dr. Maya Angelou: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
So my challenge for you today is to make more human connections so that you can get to tell your story as well as listen to other people’s stories. Your life magically expands when you get out of your head and away from your own concerns in order to make human connections. So, as you go about your day, exert greater effort to delve further into the lives of the people around you. So many times we pass people at work, in our communities, or even at home, and we never really stop to have a human connection with them to learn about their goals, their visions, their dreams, and their passions. People not only want to be loved but, more importantly, they want to be understood. When we don’t have meaningful conversations with them, we forfeit the opportunity to understand them. If we don’t understand them, then we cannot be the jigsaw puzzle solution to them and they cannot be the jigsaw puzzle solution to us. Remember, life is a puzzle, but it does not have to be puzzling. So reach out today and learn something new from an old friend.