When “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”…

Lets admit it.

We’ve all had the “Missing piece moment”.

When we seek to “fit in”; where we felt “incomplete”; this is when we felt the urge to find companions to complete ourselves.

In “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O” by Shel Silverstein, the “wedge” undergoes a journey in which it tries to alter itself in order to attract others, yet ultimately realising the importance of personal development when it encounters “Big O”. This seemingly simple story contain elements that are prevalent in the present society.

And of course, I, too, undertook the same journey as the “wedge” before confronting the “Big O moment”.

In elementary school, I was always the odd one out. Maybe it was the language barrier that widened the gap or the culture differences or just the way I dressed. I remember the times when I would go into a PE class and be asked to divide ourselves among several groups. There will always be a time when everyone else would be picked and I’m awkwardly left last. Unwanted.

Why did I even come here? Separated from my best friends just to mire myself in isolation? Things would not be like this only if I hadn’t come here…

Or other times where they’re so engrossed in their conversation to the point that my existence became transparent to them.

Why am I always ignored? Why are they always indifferent to my opinions? What did I do wrong…

There was an uncountable amount of occasions when I felt “unfit”, especially during lunch or recess hours, when everyone clusters up and began chatting away happily. I was always the one silently sitting there gazing them in a distant.

Gradually, I felt an overwhelming urge to change, to be like them.

The first thing that popped in my mind was to change my clothing. I thought by changing my appearance, I would gain acceptance from the clique. So, I began wearing short shorts to enhance my body figure or wearing spaghetti strapped tank tops that made me seem more westernised. Or attires that were considered “on trend” by the public. As a result, by renewing my appearance, I got the attention I wanted and became part of the clique.

Likewise, the “wedge” attempted to be “flashy”, and emblazoned itself with scintillating lights, just to attract the others’ attention in seeking completeness.

Our group would gather during recess and have our regular gossip sessions. Initially, I was the happiest as I can be. And I thought that I had achieved what I wanted all along. But whilst being “accepted” by the groups, I still felt as if a part of me was missing.

As time went on, I grew increasingly uncomfortable in the unfamiliar clothes I was wearing and would always hate putting them on. But just for the sake of gaining acceptance, I did. One day, the discomfort finally struck me as I realised I shouldn’t be adjusting myself just to fit in with the rest. Then I got back into what I wore normally, oblivious to the fact that it might not be “fashionable” or “in style”.

Gradually, the desire to find my own niche to complete myself faded off. Instead, I began participating in various sports like basketball and badminton and using lunch and recess times to practice instead of sitting alone.


Just like that, I began to “roll” like the “wedge.”

Through the booms and busts of life, there will indeed be times where we yearn for “completeness” or attempting to diminish the “gap” between ourselves and other while seeking belongingness. Maybe it is our natural instinct to “fit in” that drives the tendency to long for completeness from others, just as the wedge did initially. As well as the occasions when I did the same.

Whether or not you choose to admit it, there has to be a time, where you combat the “missing piece moment”. Either it was from peer pressure or emotional downfall. Yet at some point, we must be able to reflect and realise the importance of enriching ourselves not by others’ companionship but rather self development.

We must, at some point, learn to “lift”, “flip”, “flop” and “bump” courageously, to wear off our edges through consistent reflection and finally reach the “Big O” stage, just like the “wedge.”

(Inspired by “The Missing Piece Meets the Big O”-Shel Silverstein) http://www.ktor.me/bigo/index.php

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