WPSU's This I Believe
12:00 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

I Believe in Puzzles

Ben Brauser
Credit Erin Cassidy

My grandfather loves puzzles. He has thousands of them and he never leaves home without one. He dumps them out on the nearest kitchen table, which annoys everyone who wants to use the space.

When he sits down and begins, he always starts on the edges and works his way in. I used to think his puzzles were a waste of time, but when I thought about it, I realized I work on puzzles every single day.

It is always easiest to start with a solid foundation and work from there. At first, the puzzle looks impossible. But the longer and the harder you work on it, the closer you get to seeing the bigger picture.

I believe that everything in life works like a puzzle.

I am very active in my school, I play in band and also serve on student council. Sometimes it can feel like everything is bearing down on me, because all I focus on is solving the whole puzzle at first glance. Instead, I try to look at all the sides of each piece of my life, and see where it fits the best.

Like with our school band, I try to understand where we need to improve. The band is a puzzle, and I want to help solve it before our concert. Sometimes I am a foundation piece helping to pull things together, and sometimes I am the piece that seems to be missing.

I always thought the point of a puzzle was to get the final picture. But then why wouldn’t you just buy the image?

Because the enjoyable part isn’t the final outcome, it's how you get there. If you live life waiting for a bigger picture, then you won't enjoy the little moments along the way.

One time, I participated in a neighborhood competition. We played a series of games like kickball, and badminton, bike races, and other activities. We really wanted to win, so badly that we ended up not having fun. Even though we did end up winning, it wasn’t worth it. We missed out on all of the fun.

I believe in life’s puzzles. I believe everything has an influence on something greater. We are the pieces, every single person.

Small things like working together and accepting each other’s differences help to make sure our puzzle piece fits with others’.

I think the strategies used in solving puzzles are great strategies for life. Build a solid foundation, enjoy the experience, and remember that a puzzle is always easier and more fun with others.

I learned all of this from my grandfather. So whenever he comes over, I help him with his puzzles. Just like he helped me with mine.

- Brauser is 12 years old and attends Mount Nittany Middle School. When he grows up, he hopes to become a neurosurgeon.

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