Missing Tile Syndrome

A hotel had a very beautiful swimming pool made of Italian tiles, but one tile was missing. People would come and appreciate the beauty of the pool, but their eyes would be fixed on that missing one among thousands of tiles. They would finally leave unsatisfied.

We have 32 teeth, but our tongue goes only till the broken tooth. If a chair is removed from the drawing room, our attention will go only to the absence of that chair.

We focus on what we do not have, but are not satisfied with what we have. Just one shortcoming snatches all our happiness in a moment.

This tendency of humans is called the “Missing Tile Syndrome”, a term coined by Dennis Prager. It is a very big obstacle to happiness, as the mind gets preoccupied with imperfections and anomalies.

This is a psychological problem that may give rise to both mental and physical diseases.

We are all human beings who can never be perfect. Every person has negative things and shortcomings. Instead of feeling sad, we should think about how you can get better without comparing ourselves with others.

To overcome this, first identify your missing tile, then either work to get or replace what’s missing, and if that’s not possible, just forget it.

Thank God and nature that  we have been provided with so many things and reasons to be happy. Let me enumerate 10 out of them:

1. Be happy that you can see…
because there are about 40 million blind people in the world. Of these, 49% are in India and China alone.

2. Be happy that you can hear…
because more than 75 million people in the world are unable to hear and 80% of them live in developed countries.

3. Be happy that you can walk…
because according to WHO report, more than 60 million people in the world do not have functional legs and 75 million people are on wheelchairs.

4. Be happy that you have a roof over your head…
because according to the report of Habitat of Humanity, around 150 million people are homeless in the world, and about 1600 million people are forced to live under dilapidated roofs.

5. Be happy that you have food….
because according to the study of World Food Program, 48 million people in the world have reached the brink of death due to lack of food.

6. Be happy that you have a family…
because according to UNICEF report, 153 million children are orphans in the world. More than 168 million children have to earn their livelihood by working as labourers.

7. Be happy that you can read and write…
because UNESCO report says that 260 million children in the world do not have the luck of going to schools due to financial crunch.

8. Be happy that you are drinking clean water…
because WHO-UNICEF figures say that 2000 million people in the world do not have access to clean potable water.

9. Be happy that you have shoes…
because according to the report of World Health Organization, about 600 million people in the world do not even have a pair of shoes, and 30 million of these people are children.

10. Be happy that you can smile…
because with exceptions of some monkeys, apes and quokkas, no animal smiles, and you can smile, only when you are happy.

–Kaushal Kishore

images: pinterest



  1. Thanks for sharing this post. Yes,there are many people who live unhappy lives because they are not content with what they have. Your sharing shed light to some of these issues . People have the tendency to want more and worry through life but life is meant to be content and happy so long as we have the basic needs in life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much, Joanna! I appreciate your thoughts. You have very well stated the real facts about the issue. I agree with you that what we have has no value, but what we don’t have, become priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Kaushal, for today’s brilliant post. Our tendency to focus on any shortcomings is a sure way to unhappiness. It is very poignant your idea to list why we should be happy, and I think volunteering allows to see that others don’t have what we take for granted. I worked as a volunteer raising money for
    The Organisation Helping the Blind, and could see how fortunate I was to have 20/20 vision. Being happy with what one has got is paramount to our wellbeing..
    I follow the wise words of Henry David Thoreau:
    ” I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only the sense of existence for my wealth is not in my possessions but enjoyment.”


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very well said, Joanna! Thanks for sharing Henry’s quote. In this connection, I remember a saying that anything before acquiring or after losing becomes invaluable. I’m happy that you are happy about the perfect vision. This shows a sense of gratitude. We forget what has been bestowed on us by the Almighty. Thank you!


  3. In defense of the human side of the brain and its Design to fill in the gaps in an image so as to help one make sense of one’s environment, I say that observing the missing thing rather than the whole is a soul-deep yearning conscripted by Creator /Source in each person, to find whatever it is that has been “lost” in the totality of the human collective. That loss, which has caused us to forget so much of our history and evolution, written invisibly in our genes about who we really are as human beings.
    Wonderful share, Kaushal. I enjoyed the clarity brought to bear by the statistics you shared. As always, a thought-provoking piece, Kaushal. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Suzette for explaining the overall position both at micro and macro level, taking it to history and evolution. It’s very thoughtful . It’s human tendency that we don’t value a thing till it’s with us. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful reflections!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. PS. Just wanted to add that more important than my vision was realisation that I could see the beauty of the world, the nature and all the man-made wonders;
    the magnificat temples, the cathedrals and mosques, and they could not.
    I gave thanks every day for all that I have, including being happy to be alive every morning.
    Thank you, Kaushal, for lovely presentation!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lovely thought indeed, Joanna! It’s our privilege that we can see things made by nature and men. Thank you, Joanna, for sharing this wonderful thought.


  5. A wonderful post of human nature, KK. I believe I may have told you this one before but it bears repeating. My father had a favorite Italian saying he would quote many times throughout his life: “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your father’s favourite saying that again goes to emphasise that we should value what we have. To be happy, we should see how many people are behind us.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah KK,what a powerful reminder. Thank you for all the research and effort you put into this one, it is so spot on. Some of those stats are absolutely marveling. Perception is truly everything in this world, sometimes we forget the beauty of just being who we are and enjoying what comes our way. Thank you for such wise words delivered in a gentle yet profound way 🤍🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Grace, for such a thoughtful comment and deep reflections. I agree what matters a lot is the perception, how we see things and people around us. There are people ahead of us and also behind us. This realisation would help us take a balanced position. Thanks again for your kind comment 😊💖

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have all these things, but can definitely relate to noticing what isn’t there, rather than what is. I have experienced so many people commenting on what isn’t happening rather than what is, it is clear this “missing tile syndrome” isn’t limited to luxury swimming pools sadly …

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on silverapplequeen and commented:
    This is so true! I used to think of this as a puzzle where there’s always a piece missing & you’ll never find that piece but it doesn’t mean that the picture of the puzzle is any less beautiful! You have to take the good with the bad! A wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is such a timely reminder. A powerful word in a world where it has become the fashion to be and dwell on the negative.
    God bless you for sharing your gift with the world. 🙌🏾🫂🌹

    Liked by 2 people

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