It’s Not A Level Playing Field. It’s A Jigsaw Puzzle With A Lot Of Missing Pieces


“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.” – Stephen Jay Gould

Re-read that Gould quote. Read it aloud, in fact. 

Breaking news: It’s not a level playing field. 

More accurate analogy: An enormous jigsaw puzzle with a whole bunch of missing pieces.

This means those with the most privilege (looks at self in mirror) must be the first ones in line with a new mission. If you’re in the best position to smash archaic patterns, you must do so. Yesterday. If you’re in the best position to challenge oppression, you must do so. Yesterday.

We’ve reaped the benefits long enough. The party is over. It was actually over a long time ago but we were way too drunk on privilege to notice. Now it’s time to sober up, push past the hangover, take some risks, and lead the way. Put yourself in the line of fire. Share the puzzle pieces, people. Now. It may not sound fair for some to have to pay for the sins of their fathers, but (to paraphrase William Munny), “fairness got nothing to do with it.” (Yet.)

We’ve had our chance to be Einstein’s brain but, let’s be blunt, we fucked it up. Big time. So, enough with the self-sabotaging, virtue signaling, guilt-induced choice to take a radical “vow of poverty.” If you have a chance to thrive, grab it. Exploit your privilege to its fullest and share the rewards. Rise up and lift everyone else up with you. Then get the fuck out of the way. (But stay ready to follow after they’ve blaze a new path.)

There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind. We need millions of privileged minds (especially male minds) changing in millions of ways — at the same time, as soon as possible.

Rise each morning with a purpose. Go to sleep each night knowing you did the work. Anything less than that is unacceptable.

Mickey Z. is currently writing two books, a political memoir called How to Change Minds & Influence the Future: Rebuilding Activism From the Ground Up (Microcosm Publishing) and a fusion novella entitled stain red. In the meantime, he can be found here.

It’s not a level playing field. It’s a jigsaw puzzle with a lot of missing pieces. by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at


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