Once in a while, I tend to recycle old material I’ve already written about. Kind of can’t help it when you consider that I’ve been blogging for about four years at this point. But once in a while, it’s important for any of us to remember what’s important in life. And this brings to mind a story i read when I was in college, way back in the 1990’s. I kept a paper copy of this story as it inspired me back then, almost as much as it does now. Some of you may have heard this story before, but here it is:
A professor stood in front of his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar slightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous YES.
The professor then produced two bottles of beer from under the table and poured their entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things such as family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions. And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything else, the small stuff. If you were to put the sand into the jar first, there would be no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”
It’s important to pay attention to the things in your life that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your spouse and children. Visit with your parents. Take time for your health. Treat yourself to dinner. Play another 18 holes.
Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.
One of the professor’s students raiser her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked that. The beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beer with friends or family.” ☯️