The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

11
Jan

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

As I was reflecting on what Nicole wrote on Tuesday I received an e-mail from a staff member here at school that seemed to piggy back on her message of family. I thought this story would be a great one to share as part of my blog this week. I am also a very strong believer in the importance of family. For me family comes above all else. You never know how long a family member will be with you and it is so important to cherish each day – good and bad. So in the spirit of family enjoy this story.

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

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

A professor stood before 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 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 and unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee 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. Play with
your children. 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 coffee
represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Take time to slow down and remember the golf balls in your life.

See you next Thursday,
Erin

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