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The Lesson Of The Missing Puzzle Piece

November 27, 2018

Our puzzle was nearly complete. It was a 48 piece puzzle of Elsa, Anna and Olaf from the Disney movie Frozen. But, we were missing three pieces. An inconsequential piece of the river, Elsa’s hand and Olaf’s stomach. We were one of four groups of parents and children that were putting together puzzles. All four groups quickly realized that their puzzles were all missing pieces.

The exercise was to watch what the kids. . and the adults. . . but mostly what the kids would do. The kids quickly spread out and searched the room. It was a large conference room with plenty of book shelves, tables and chairs. All together about 60 parents and kids were in the room. Their search of the room came up empty. They next asked the counselors for the pieces. They were met with universal responses of

I don’t have any puzzle pieces.

We all knew that the counselors had a lesson they were trying to teach us. But, what lesson?

What do you think it would mean? Maybe they wanted us to solve a puzzle? Kind of like one of those escape rooms.

Maybe the lesson was patience? Don’t expect everything right away.

Maybe the lesson was to work for what you got? There might be some effort that needed to be put in.

The other 8 people in our group discussed it. Kids and parents. There were several possible theories. The one we felt best about was not ultimately what the counselors were aiming for. We decided the lesson was that no one is perfect. We are all broken in one way or another. We might struggle forever trying to become “perfect.” The point we need to a remember is to accept ourselves and each other as we are; imperfect as that might be.

As we discussed it we also realized we were focused on the wrong thing. We had a 48 piece puzzle and we were focused on the three missing pieces. We failed to really look at the remaining 45 pieces. There was a story being told in a that picture, in a very “Disney” way. But, still, there was color, and movement and beauty. And by simply focusing on what was not there, we were missing what was there.

Ultimately the counselors produced the missing pieces. The kids had to ask for them, and find which counselor had their piece. The lesson was that we can’t “fix” ourselves. We have to not only be willing to accept help from others, we had to often ask for that help. . .and not always from the same person.

In the end the puzzles all got put together and then all got returned to the boxes. The kids agreed it was a fun activity. I guess at the end, each took their own lessons away from the activity.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2018 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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