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.