A Point of View By Paul Montesino

The Puzzle of Living.
A Point of View © 1996
By Paul V. Montesino, PhD, MBA, CSP.

If you are like me, you are constantly evaluating the facts of your life and the results of your plans and your actions. And by that I mean everything that affects you and everyone else that’s part of your life and depends heavily on you.

“An unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates and we recorded it for posterity. What Socrates did was encourage self-reflection and introspection. He believed that one should constantly question and examine their beliefs, actions, and life in general. I suppose it also means that those beliefs, actions, and facts of life must prove themselves every day or be tossed out if they lack utility,

But I am not talking here of psychological insecurity or lack of confidence in what we do and how we do it, my purpose goes beyond those limitations, and it means proving every second of our lives that what we do is what we should be doing. I will use the puzzling metaphor of a puzzle to prove my point of view.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle, one as different from the other as you can imagine. There are folks who live lives that are puzzles consisting of many pieces of different shapes and sizes, while some of us have to be content with only a few pieces without concern for shape or size.

And the pieces for the players in the game of creating a puzzle should fit perfectly in the spaces assigned to them, while others leave unused empty spaces because we are unable to fill those spaces and contours allocated to them for whatever reasons. The famous saying “a square peg in a round hole” is another version of this contradiction. For those I would call “empty-puzzled,” life is full of missed opportunities because they are the ones that simply can’t fit anywhere. But that is my analysis of the hole of a puzzle alone.

There are also the pieces themselves to consider, some are flat and others bumpy, and it is not hard to imagine how the full puzzles the players are trying to create will turn out to be different from each other, some serene and peaceful, others conflictive and aggressive due to the shapes of the pieces.

I am willing to bet that you have never considered life in the manner I am describing. Most of us say life is a puzzle because that word gives our existence a “mysterious” nature, the word “intriguing” being more appropriate. In other words, life is a problem, a conundrum, serious or otherwise, that we must solve. But I don’t use puzzles or life as an intriguing concept, on the contrary. I think of them as perfectly natural objects that we face and are prepared to fill on holes that are there for our benefit. The next time you face a real life puzzle and try to dispose of all the pieces that have been given to you, remember my words. And that’s my puzzling point of view today. So Long.

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