The Missing Piece

Gingerbread Being

Becoming Whole

In Chinese, there’s a saying “Learn to become a whole person”. Growing up, this is the single phrase that sticks most in my memory.

“So-and-so doesn’t know how to behave like a whole person,” I’d overhear one auntie tell my mother, implying that someone hasn’t done the “right” thing.

“You’ll understand, when you become a whole person,” my teachers would say to many an enigma I stumbled upon.

“It’s important to learn to become whole, little one,” my father would remark, whenever I stamped my feet, impatient to make sense of the game of life.

I can’t help but remember fondly¬†Shel Silverstein’s story of “The Missing Piece“.

Now that I’m grown up, I continue to ask myself: Why whole? How do we know which pieces are missing? How can they be obtained? How long does it take to become whole? What does it really mean to become a whole person anyway?

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