Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Giving Thanks


My message to the high school staff as we get closer to Thanksgiving -

Preparing for Thanksgiving break, I wanted to take a moment to offer my thanks and gratitude.  Aside from my children, my family, and my health, I am very thankful to work in an environment that is full of such outstanding, enthusiastic and creative people.  I know it isn't said nearly enough, but I am truly grateful for all of your efforts.  Our talented students are living proof of your continued hard work and dedication. I am also thankful that we are supported by a community that makes education and the interest of its young people a top priority.

This time of year is a good time to reflect on what you're thankful for.  Doing so myself, I remembered an anecdote that I would like to share:

A philosophy professor stood before his class with some items on the table 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 rocks, about 2" in diameter. 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, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He 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 everything else. 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 education, your health, and 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 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 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 and fix the disposal. Take care of the rocks first - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just pebbles and sand."

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, and take time to pay attention to your rocks!

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