Monday, April 26, 2010

The Mason Jar Parable- RT here I come!

A philosophy professor stood before her class at the end of the year with a table full of somewhat odd items. She began class by filling up a very large, empty mason jar with rocks from a sack on the table. As she topped of the jar, with some rocks spilling over the side, she then asked the students if the jar was full. They all answered that it was.

So the professor then picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking it lighty to allow the pebbles to meander into the open spaces between the rocks. She asked again if the jar was full. They again agreed it was, but some, sensing she wasn't quite done, said "Well, not really."

The professor then picked up cannister of sand and poured it into the jar until all the openings between the rocks and pebbles had been filled. "Now you could say it's full," said the professor. "And I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the big, important things: your family, your partner, your health, your friends, your children - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still seem full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter, such as your job, your home, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff."

"Now think of this: If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time, space and energy on the smaller stuff, you will never have room for the things that should truly matter to you."

"So be attentive to the things that are crucial to your happiness. Play with your children and spend time with them. Don't neglect your health. Take your partner out dining and dancing. Be there for your friends."

"There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, run errands, and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

The students were speechless and all agreed it was a great year-end life lesson.

But suddenly one student asked about the bottle of beer still the table. "Ah," the professor smiled and poured a bottle of beer into the jar. It went in just fine, being soaked up through the sand, and truly made the jar full."Its here to drive home the point there's always time for a cold beer with friends."

I love this lesson in prioriies parable! And I find it fitting to reflect on as I get readyto head to the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. I will spend the next few days replenishing the muse and honing my craft and sharing many a laugh and cold beverage with friends.