Beneath my son’s bed is a four foot long plastic bin of LEGO pieces, a mass grave of disassembled robots, cars, trucks, and spaceships. From time to time I will spot my son squatting over the bin, digging through the LEGOS like a dog searching for his bone. I know what my son is doing: he’s decided he wants to make something and he’s searching through this multi-colored plastic soup for the exact right pieces. Yet if you knew nothing about LEGOs you might draw a different conclusion. There are times my son’s digging takes on a kind of desperation, and one might conclude that my son heard of a great treasure buried amongst these LEGOs, a Golden LEGO, whose discovery will be the answer to all my son’s worries.
The exact opposite is true, of course. Every single LEGO has precisely the same value. The wheels are only valuable if you are building a racecar; the windows are only valuable if you are building a house. If there is any desperation, it is from the fear that he will not find what he needs to create what he wishes to see.
The world is full of people scurrying about trying to make what they want to see. The pieces of our world are infinite: every blade of grass, every word, every mansion, every city. These pieces have no more inherent value than a LEGO cube. To dig for gold is to forget why you were digging, to forget that you were searching the world not for what you need but for what you love.
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