Friday, February 27, 2009

Life Analogy

A friend of mine emailed me a story worth reading. Unfortunately, I don't know the author so I can't attribute proper credit. I hope you take a moment to read it through too, but more importantly, take the lesson of the story to heart.

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers...

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in frontof 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 lightly. 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 asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the 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---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite 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 put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is 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. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.' The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


I wrote about progress elsewhere today and found this quote by President Barack Obama that seemed appropriate to the theme of this blog.

"If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress."


I recently got a peek behind the curtain. Although the wizard’s motivation was not entirely unexpected, the overt emphasis on certain aspects of it was surprising to me nonetheless. I suppose you could characterize my experience as receiving a hard dose of reality. I can’t really say I’m disillusioned but my idealism certainly took a battering in the moment.

I held out no real expectations of the encounter itself. I obviously have no grasp of party obligations and power structure. I surely don’t have the proper appreciation of the role money plays in the process. Deep down, I knew I probably couldn’t fit into the established mold, which I’m pretty sure was reflected in my answers. If I emerged from the room with my idealism in tatters, I’m pretty sure my integrity emerged intact anyway. I definitely found out a little more of who I am.

Overall, it was a valuable experience for many reasons but not one I’m ever likely to repeat. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home.”

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back On Track

It looks like I get to resume my journey along the original path I was following after all. That suits me just fine and is what I expected to occur. It was a worthwhile delay for me, however, because it resoundingly resolved a reoccurring dilemma I'd faced. I look forward to the defined path.