Life is composed of many pieces that can be put together in several different ways, unlike a static jigsaw puzzle where you separate out all the edges, put them together and fill in the rest, using the convenient pretty picture on the box. Those puzzles can only be done in one way, regardless of your ethnicity, religion, gender, politics, or socioeconomic level.
Interactive life puzzles are a beast in comparison. None of the pieces fits together in a neat picture. The infinite number of pieces can be put together and interpreted in an infinite number of ways and are only limited by one’s lifetime.
An entire lifetime collecting pieces of the puzzle, either making sense of it or not. Pieces may have meaning or not. Each piece has no more value than any other until it’s part of something meaningful. And we don’t even agree on what’s meaningful or not.
Puzzling, isn’t it? We’re not creating the same overall picture even with access to the same pieces of information. Some have a financial or political obligation to interpret the puzzle in a logic-defying manner like saying the way to curb gun violence is more guns. Or by blaming mental health issues for violence perpetuated by guns and then taking away affordable health care, which could help remedy those mental health issues.
Now, just throw freewill into the mix. Could you imagine when opening a jigsaw puzzle box and the individual pieces had freewill? They could flip themselves over to hide what’s printed on the other side or change their picture. Edges could become curvaceous and vice versa. Or a certain group of pieces could refuse to join with other pieces, regardless that they’re all part of the same puzzle.
We’re all puzzle piece collectors, dragging around our incomplete collections. Over time, even the pieces we’ve lugged around for so long become misshapen, not truly representing what they originally stood for. Pieces that loomed so heavily on us when we were children have been long buried and forgotten until something random triggers its activation. Upon reflection, we may detect patterns in those pieces most personal to us while being mere buoys raising and falling in the change of pieces that affect our community.
Let’s not forget those historians emphasizing the winning side’s interpretation of the puzzle while conveniently omitting those pieces that mar its pretty view of the past. Perpetuating those glossy celebrations of decorative pieces of history magically filling in the factual gaps with lore, exaggeration, adult fairytales and outright lies.
Whenever someone wishes to return to the good ol’ days, I always wonder which part of the past are they conveniently forgetting or oblivious to, which existed back then that even those ol’ time contemporaries didn’t like and fondly looked further back since all those modern-day, new and improved pieces with their jagged edges still pierced into the pretty picture they were trying to make with inflexible pieces.
There’s never been a golden age of human beings or civilization. They all rise and fall. We are the same vicious assholes we’ve always been. Despite technology, innovations, living longer, access to creature comforts those in the good ol’ days could never imagine, yet our species still drags around a self-destructiveness, which manifests itself in the form of greed, jealousy, hate, irrational reactions to the unknown, especially when the unknown is in the form of another human being with such perceived differences, the fearful forgets their humanity.
And therein lies our self-destruction, not really new and improved. Just reinvented with the latest upgrades to handle the same shit we’ve struggled with all along. The picture on the puzzle pieces may look different, but it’s the same struggles as before.
Always some group who view themselves as being above the law and deserving more than others, using the same tried and true strategy of divide and conquer with whichever modern twists that gives the illusion of something different, but it’s still the same ol’ puzzle. No matter which pieces you get in life, it’s the same puzzle. Make the best picture you can.