Friday, September 23, 2011

Are your kids going to the dogs?

A close up of Poppy

I remember the old HomeFront ads from the TV in the 80's. It's great to see the new updated ones with the same message.
It's really hard to balance our time when we live in a world of deadlines, work, kids sports and school events, music and dance lessons and a thousand things that need to be done. It's not even a choice between the good things and the bad because we can fill our schedules with too many good things too. And then we run ourselves into the ground or we end up not doing as good of a job on everything we're trying to juggle. You know the feeling...and don't feel guilty. It's almost expected of our society these days. So I'd like to share some words of wisdom I learned years ago. My teacher stood at the front of the class. The plexi shield was in place to protect us from any blasts or spills and that was good because our teachers eyebrows had only just grown back from the last 'accident'. He stood there with a serious look on his face and 3 large glass jars about a gallon each. One filled with large pebbles, one filled with pea gravel and another containing what looked like sand. He started out the lecture explaining that we were going to learn one very important lesson today and that we should make notes and pay close attention for the next 10 minutes. We did. Pencils at the ready, we waited eagerly for this man to give us his words of academic wisdom. He asked us what skill or ability in life we thought was the most important. Hands went up and answers flowed around like good observation, patience, inventiveness, hard work, ability to communicate with others, boss people around, things like that. Quietly he raised his hands and told us that today we'd learn a profound truth about human nature and the order of the universe. Our teacher took out 3 rocks from their jar and placed them in an empty jar of the same size, asking us "Is the jar full yet'? and adding more rocks one by one until we all agreed the jar was full of rocks. Then he took a handful of gravel and poured it into the jar where it worked it's way down and filled in all the air spaces between the bigger rocks. He asked the same question. "Is the jar full now?" and people were catching on so we said 'no, you can fit sand in the gaps around the gravel' so he proceeded to take scoop after of scoop of sand and fill in the rest of the jar. He gave it a few jiggles and topped it up level. Then the question again..."Is the jar full now?" We agreed that it was, and so just to prove his point he managed to get 2 cups of water in there too, lol. We sat and considered what this teacher could possibly getting at because this was not what we were expecting. We were an advanced high school science class so you'd think we'd get it but none of us did. He asked us "So what can we learn from this illustration?" and hands went up slowly with the concensus being can always fit more in than you think. But we were wrong. This wise man taught us a profound lesson that day that I still remember. He taught us that life isn't about getting more and more into it. The lesson is this....If you don't get the big and important things in first, you can't fit them in once the jar if full.

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