On Humanity


The Mayo Jar

Just want to share this story1 emailed to me by Peter2. I guess it can go hand-in-hand with the ALA Burnout arti­cle tweet ear­lier this week, or Prof. Pausch’s Last Lec­ture.

Enjoy, and have a great week­end my golf balls!

A Pro­fes­sor stood before his phi­los­o­phy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, word­lessly, he 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.

So 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 an unan­i­mous “yes.”

The Pro­fes­sor then pro­duced two cups of cof­fee from under the table and poured the entire con­tents into the jar, effec­tively fill­ing the space between the grains of sand.

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—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, 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. Play with your chil­dren. Take time to get med­ical check­ups. Take your part­ner out to din­ner. Play another 18.

There will always 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 cof­fee rep­re­sented. The Pro­fes­sor smiled. “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 cups of cof­fee with a friend.”

  1. I did some research online and it seems that the story has a ver­sion with 2 cups of cof­fee as well instead of beer. []
  2. If you need some home improve­ments done and live in the Bay Area, Peter can han­dle them. Check out his com­pany over at paloaltohi.com []

On California’s Prop. 8

There is still lots of talk about this propo­si­tion. But if it comes down to what is right, I think it’s rather sim­ple. It can be seen in a piece of doc­u­ment writ­ten over 200 years ago which states the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are cre­ated equal, that they are endowed by their Cre­ator with cer­tain unalien­able Rights, that among these are Life, Lib­erty and the pur­suit of Hap­pi­ness.1

Though one might find them­selves hav­ing mixed feel­ings of what the above should be or should not be inter­preted as, they fall back on reli­gious views2. But to believe that this has arguable weight, and is enough to amend the State Con­sti­tu­tion (or The Con­sti­tion “period”) is in itself an erred way of thought and process.

That is, it con­tra­dicts the “legal and polit­i­cal prin­ci­ple” of the sep­a­ra­tion of Church and State:

Con­gress shall make no law respect­ing an estab­lish­ment of religion…

And if that is not enough, amend­ing the Con­sti­tu­tion with Propo­si­tion 8 makes us ques­tion if those self-evident “truths” (that the United States were founded and built upon) are still real or not. Per­son­ally, I know they are. Hence, my belief and faith in those “unalien­able Rights” led me to find that Propo­si­tion 8 is uncon­sti­tu­tional and there­fore, deserved my vote against it (“No on 8″). 

  1. The Dec­la­ra­tion of Inde­pen­dence. July 4, 1776. []
  2. I hap­pen to find an inter­est­ing read while research­ing. Here’s an arti­cle writ­ten by Cog­ito!, enti­tled “Propo­si­tion 8, Homo­sex­u­al­ity, and the Bible: An Excur­sus”. []

MSNBC Keith Olbermann on California’s Prop. 8

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Some take­aways from Olbermann’s Spe­cial Com­ment on California’s Prop. 8:

  • What is it to you?”
  • They want what you want.”
  • Spread hap­pi­ness.”
  • Do onto oth­ers as you would have them do onto you1.”
  1. The Golden Rule. Also known as the Ethic of Reci­procity. []

Financial Fitness

Aaron Patzer of Mint.com states the “4 good habits that can make the dif­fer­ence between going broke or build­ing up your net worth each month”:

  1. Save money
  2. Avoid debt
  3. Invest
  4. Don’t lose it

Though only 4, it takes a while to be in the prac­tice of start­ing them. Uphold­ing them is a dif­fer­ent story. To do that, I think his recent write-up, 12 Steps to Finan­cial Fit­ness, is a good guide­line to help attain those 4 good habits in the long run.