Monday, June 25, 2012

Shel Silverstein Books Hold the Key to Happy Relationships

Are you looking for the relationship that will "complete" you? Maybe you have already found it. We seem to spend our lives looking for soul mates, assuming that without a relationship with another person, we are incomplete. We rejoice when we find that soul mate relationship, but then we begin to wonder why we still sometimes feel lonely or sad, or why those relationships sometimes end. Shel Silverstein digs into this topic in his two children's books, The Missing Piece and The Missing Piece Finds the Big O.

The Missing Piece

Shel Silverstein, beloved and renowned author and poet, offers writings that can be taken on more than one level. At face value, The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein is about a circle with a slice missing. This circle rolls about the countryside looking for the perfect piece to fill in its gap. Along the way, Shel Silverstein depicts the circle as having a wonderful time meeting new creatures and trying new things. When the circle finally meets its "perfect piece," being "complete" distracts it from doing all of the things it loved, so it lets the piece go and rolls away.

If you dig below the surface, Shel Silverstein seems to be writing about the importance of developing your individuality before getting into a relationship, not sacrificing yourself in order to get into a relationship, and then maintaining that individuality while in the relationship. The circle's best times were when it was rolling along, singing, stopping to talk to an earthworm or even falling in a hole along the way. Once in a relationship with the "piece" that completed it, the circle lost its sense of self. Certainly, Shel Silverstein is arguing that we must find and do the things that make us happy, and then find a relationship with a person who allows us to continue expressing our individuality within the relationship.

The Missing Piece Meets the Big O

Shel Silverstein writes a similar story in The Missing Piece Meets the Big O. This story, conversely, is about a "piece" who is looking for someone to come along and "take it somewhere." The piece looks all over to find the "perfect fit" for a relationship, even trying to make itself more attractive and noticeable, but each completing circle has something wrong with it. Eventually, Shel Silverstein introduces the character of the "Big O," a complete circle that teaches the piece that it can roll on its own - it doesn't need a relationship in order to go anywhere. After sharing this piece of wisdom, the "Big O" leaves the piece alone to try to move by itself. As it tries to roll, it wears down its edges, eventually becoming a self-sufficient circle of its own! The story ends with the piece and the "Big O" embracing.

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