June 6, 2021 - The Importance Things in Life

   A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table in front of him. Then the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks, about 2 inches in diameter.

   He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was. Then the professor picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

   The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up the remaining open areas of the jar.

   He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "Yes". "Now," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children - things that 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, your car. The sand 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 rocks. The same goes for your 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 your partner out dancing. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party, or fix the disposal."

Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

(Author Unknown)  June, 2021

June 13, 2021 – Stone Soup (Aesop)

   Many years ago three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wring their hands and bemoaning the lack of anything to eat. The soldiers spoke quietly among themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders. “Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones.”

   Naturally the villagers were intrigued and soon a fire was put to the town’s greatest kettle as the soldiers dropped in three smooth stones. “Now this will be a fine soup”, said the second soldier, but a pinch of salt and some parsley would make it wonderful!” Up jumped a villager, crying “What luck! I’ve just remembered where some’s been left!” And off she ran, returning with an apronful of parsley and a turnip. As the kettle boiled on, the memory of the village improved: soon barley, carrots, beef and cream had found their way into the great pot, and a cask of wine was rolled into the square as all sat down to feast.

   They ate and danced and sang well into the night, refreshed by the feast and their new-found friends. In the morning the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. At their feet lay a satchel of the village’s best breads and cheese. “You have given us the greatest of gifts: the secret of how to make soup from stones, said an elder, “and we shall never forget.” The third soldier turned to the crowd, and said: “There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast.” And off the soldiers wandered, down the road.