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Every piece of a puzzle not yet finished is still valuable

Let's do this thought experiment: Suppose for some reason every day we get a piece of a puzzle. We don’t know how many pieces the puzzle has. and we don’t know how the final image looks like. So, the question arises: what do we do with the pieces of the puzzle that we already have?

There are obviously several options. For example, we can keep them until we have enough pieces to start trying to put something together. Or we can ignore all those pieces, as we don't know if we will ever receive the final piece and it would be ridiculous to spend time on an impossible task.

One thing is certain: with each new piece the chances increase that we can begin to build at least part of the image and, for that very reason, the chances that one day, under the right conditions, we will solve the puzzle also increase. But if we discard all the pieces, we will never solve the puzzle.

We have to decide, then, if each piece is valuable in itself, even if we do not see that value immediately, or if, precisely because we do not see any value immediately, the pieces of the puzzle are worth nothing, and in fact, the puzzle itself is worth nothing.

If we accept the first option, we will order and reorder (that is the key) the pieces that we already have, not to adjust them to what we see in them, but so that they show us what they want to show us. 

If, on the contrary, we accept the second option and discard all the pieces, then there are no pieces left and there will be no puzzles to solve. Each new piece will be as meaningless as all those that preceded it and all that will follow it.

But what if at some point, by some kind of mysterious circumstance, we realize that, although the pieces came one by one, we always had with us and in us all the pieces of the puzzle? Maybe we were so focused on the new piece that we didn't understand that we already had all the pieces.

This mental exercise, well understood and taken to the extreme, should indicate that we don’t see the future because we do not want to see it.

"We are being confronted by something so completely out of our collective experience that we don't really see it, even when the evidence is overwhelming," wrote Ed Ayers. But Ayers didn’t write that observation now, nor did he refer to the pandemic or coronavirus. He did this in his book The Last Offer of God in 1999.

Why Ayers could see the future and we could not? Because, Ayers said, "Threatened human society becomes more blindered as it falls." And the blindness (ignorance) is so great that we are not aware that we can’t see. We already have all the pieces of the puzzle together and in order, and we don't see them. 

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