Break the [wounds + unawareness] cycle and guard your descendents

Inspirations to Focus and
Comfort You Along the Way
p. 4 of 10

Collected by Peter K. Gerlach, MSW


The Web address of this page is

 Three grand essentials for happiness in this life are

something to do, something to love, and something to hope for

- Joseph Addison


 Contributed by Jeanne McLennan (author unknown)

        A time management expert gave this challenge to a group of high powered over- achievers. He set a one-gallon, wide-mouthed Mason jar on the table before the group. Then he carefully put about a dozen fist-sized rocks, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said "Yes."

        He said, "Really?" He pulled out a bucket of gravel, dumped some in, and shook the jar. Pieces of gravel worked themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group again, "Is the jar full?"

        By this time the class was on to him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. He next brought out a bucket of sand. He shook sand into the jar and shook it, so it filled the spaces between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked "Is this jar full?"

        No!" the class shouted. Again he said, "Good." Then the expert poured a pitcher of water in, until the jar was filled. He looked at the class and asked, "What's the point of this illustration?" 

        One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!" "No," the speaker replied, "This illustration teaches us that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

        What are the "big rocks" in your life? Your children, partner, and loved ones? Your dreams, or a worthy cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Doing things that you love?  Time for yourself? Your health?  

        If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel and sand), you risk filling your life with things that don't matter so much in the long haul, and making time for the things you'll prize most when you're old. Tonight or in the morning, reflect on this story and muse "What are the 'big rocks' in my life?" 

        Then notice which you put in your jar first, the rest of your day ...

Friendship is ... the inexpressible comfort of

feeling safe with another person ...

having neither to weigh nor measure words, but

pouring all right out just as they are -

chaff and grain together - 

certain that a friendly hand will take and sift them, 

keep what is worth keeping, and -

with a breath of comfort -

blow the rest away.

- By George Eliot (1819 - 1880)

If you bring forth what is within you ,

what you bring forth will save you.

If you do not bring forth what is within you,

What you do not bring forth will destroy you.

- Jesus, according to Thomas


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Updated June 08, 2012