Don't lose sight of the big picture
Off the Beat
Ideas for columns come from many places, experiences and people. I recently received one of those many e-mails that your friends are always forwarding.
It seems that the flood of
e-mail greetings, video clips and jokes tends to build at an exponential rate during the holiday season. So when I initially gazed at an e-mail titled, "A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers," I almost hit delete on my handy Blackberry before reading further.
But, this e-mail was from a trusted friend and certainly he wouldn't forward anything without good cause during this busy e-mail season, would he? So, I stopped my rushing about and sat down to read. The tale that this e-mail told is not new, but it is worth sharing with you during this holiday season.
The story of the "A Mayonnaise Jar and Two Beers," goes like this: 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 two beers.
A professor stood before his philosophy class with 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 a unanimous "Yes."
The professor then produced two beers from under the table and poured their 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 check-ups.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18 holes of golf.
There always will 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."
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's learning how to dance in the rain, even in Sequim.
Help the troops
While you're dancing in the rain this holiday season, think about one of those 330,000 troops currently deployed as part of more than 1.4 million men and women serving in all branches of the military worldwide. Thousands of miles away from home, many in combat zones, our soldiers need your support. You have no idea how treasured a single letter can be. Listed below are three outstanding nonprofit charitable organizations that can help you connect with a soldier.
? Any Soldier was created in 2004 and to date has facilitated 1,759,167 contacts between civilians and military personnel. Its website is www.anysoldier.com
? Adopt A U.S. Soldier is another organization that allows you to adopt a serviceman or woman. Its website is: www.adoptaussoldier.org
? Adopt A Platoon was founded in 1998 and supports a series of different programs and outreach efforts, all designed to support our military men and women. Its website is www.adoptaplatoon.org.
Robert Spinks is former Sequim chief of police. Reach him at robertbythe email@example.com.
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