The Jar and Stones Analogy for Life

Posted: November 19, 2018 in epistolary, Fiction, Musing, Musings, opinion, philosophy, relationships

Sensitive Friend,

You brought up the story about the most efficient way to fill up a jar with a variety of stones, sand and water and to fit in in as many stones as possible.

As in life, the personal relationship must take precedence.

Wise Friend,

Aren’t you too judgemental by using the word “must?”

Sensitive Friend,

Yes, I am. I’m not running away from being discerning or from “must” and “should”.

May  I go back to the jar analogy?

Wise Friend,

Yep, please.

Sensitive Friend,

One has only one life-as if having only one jar. The number of stones one might be able to store is limited.

My son, still young, doesn’t believe in limits–he thinks resources are either wrongly used or limited temporarily. His response would be, I assume, that if you focus on the large stones and store them carefully, then the jar would get larger for even bigger stones.

Wise Friend,

Maybe he means a pie, not a jar.

Sensitive Friend,


My son also meant if you neglect the large stones, you will end up with small ones, sand and water. Why? Because you lost the opportunity to store the large stones in the beginning.

The same with life. Focusing, however, only on the most critical aspects of life might not make your life full. For that, you need to include the small things in life as well – small stones, sand and water.

Moreover, paying attention to most significant events in life (family, people, relationships) would not necessarily ensure full satisfaction. However, one would have more advantages and benefits in life.

Sometimes, if you chose your previous priorities wrongly, you might be able to change directions and repair part of your life. Meanwhile, a lot was wasted. We have to admit, accept and adjust.

There is a limit to analogies when you go down to every detail.

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