Tag Archives: Philosophy

shuffling the jar of life

25 Jul

Sometimes you realise that your life is full of pebbles.

So, take the opportunity to re-evaluate what is really important in your life.  What are your big rocks?  You control your life, you can choose the priorities it will follow.  Anytime you want to shuffle the jar, focus on your rocks first and the rest will fall into place around them.


A professor stood before her philosophy class with some items on the desk in front of her.  When the class began, she wordlessly picked up a very large and empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks as big as golf balls.  When she could not fit any more rocks in the jar, she 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.  She shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  She 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.  She 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 rocks are the important things in your life—your family, your health, your beliefs, your friends and your favourite passions— 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,” she continued, “then there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  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.  Spend time with your parents.  Visit with grandparents.  Take time to get medical check-ups.  Take your partner out to dinner.  There will always be time to clean the house and fix the light.  Take care of the rocks first—the things that really matter.  Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised their hand and inquired what the beer represented.  The professor smiled and said, “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 drinks with a friend.”


The reality of possibility

9 Jul

Is it so impossible to believe that there is more to the world than what you can see and touch?  Surely then, it is reasonable to presume that there are more things that are beyond our comprehension which do in fact exist.

And, isn’t this concept the basis of all exploration, all creative thought, certainly it is the fundamental belief which drives not just mystisism but also science.

So, then there must be some creedence to mythology too.  All around the world, throughout all of human history, there have been myths, fairy tales, ghost stories, spirits and folk lore.  They must have some truth, some basis in reality.  Why else would the same concepts of higher beings and other connected worlds exist in cultures which are completely isolated from one another.

My atheist friend would tell you that the right chemical imbalance in your brain will make you believe anything.  That anyone who believes they experience something paranormal is simply chemically altered.

A simple explanation.  Well suited to a world that believes itself to be the highest form of evolution, that demands physical evidence for any truth.  But is it really likely that so many people, all over this planet, throughout all the history of humanity have been chemically imbalanced?  Or, from a purely logical standpoint, is it not more likely that some of it is true?

I agree that such things are bigger than our normal understanding of the world.  And, it is quite likely that the stories we have told to explain these experiences are probably distorted.  But, they originate from somewhere genuine.  Where they begin and what they represent is the truly interesting part.

The reality of possibility.