Whilst recently travelling, I yet again pondered a subject I have always been passionate about.  Our individual design to absorb and retain; how we all learn so differently.

What made me think about this once more smilingly, was my time spent on an airplane watching in awe, fellow travelers diligently filling the overhead bins with their carry-ons.  It ranged from the very conscientious who ensured to arrive early to find the best solution for their luggage, others that were confident and far more casual about it, then the group of shorter passengers who, for obvious reasons, found this task quite taxing and then on the other end the taller ones who have perfected the art of swinging their luggage into these bins. The group now left observing were the ones that did not have a head start on finding their carry-ons a snug spot and are now left to solve this intricate puzzle of which items could potentially be placed where.

The behavior in this group ranges from a traveler staring into the crowded overhead bin, really trying very hard to conceptualize a solution; delaying safely depositing his/her luggage, then to another individual who has assessed the space and has determined very incorrectly that the space they have identified will work for their item of luggage, all the while forcefully trying to execute on this.

Puzzled…all of this perhaps to be solved by puzzles, jigsaw puzzles…One cannot help but wonder if the skill of building puzzles, practiced at a young age, would place us all on an equal footing? Would we potentially all be able to solve the problem of overhead bins equally?

What do the experts say about the benefit of puzzle building in Early Childhood Development?  They talk about the development of Emotional, Physical and Cognitive Skills.  Physical Skills look at Gross and Fine Motor and Hand-Eye coordination; Cognitive Skills include Memory, Problem Solving, Shape Recognition and Understanding & Creating your surrounds; Emotional Skills covers Patience and Setting Goals.

Cheating, also would bring you absolutely nowhere when completing puzzles and they are a great group activity encouraging working together yet independently.

Building jigsaw puzzles allows for the development of an individual style, whether it is to first build the edges, or rather a focal point with similar colors or perhaps first the background, each person engaging in solving the puzzle in their own unique way.

Now, imagine a world of puzzle builders all around us, even on the early morning flight to your destination.  Imagine us all working together yet independently, applying our physical skills by lending a hand to others who perhaps might require assistance, working together to solve the problem of overfull overhead bins, applying ourselves with patience.

I remain hopeful; I’ll venture to say that I believe puzzle builders make the world a better place including the act of filling overcrowded overhead bins.