Happy New Year, my dear friends all around the world. By now the dust has settled on what has been a great weekend of celebration. And why should it not have been? 2015 was a year that we all made it through. Now, you may not have had a good a year as you would have liked; and indeed, some might have had better than others. But at least you made it through the year and are here today to face 2016. That is in itself is a worthy cause of celebration.
Now that the festivities have died down and each of us are ready to go forward with the year ahead, I wanted to share this beautiful story that I came across a few days ago. It impacted my life greatly and made me make some resolutions that I will try to make last through the year.
I hope you enjoy this story as well and may it impact your life and your living in 2016. Have a wonderful week ahead and indeed, a wonderful year ahead too!
~ Thirumur David Kiran
One Thousand Marbles
By Jeffery Davis
You know, the older I get, the more I enjoy Sunday mornings. Perhaps it’s the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, of maybe it’s the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Sunday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the kitchen, with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Sunday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.
Let me tell you about it. Every Sunday, I listen to the radio as I read the newspaper. This particular day, as I sat down, I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a Sunday morning talk show. I heard an older sounding chap with a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business himself. He was talking about “a thousand marbles” to someone named “Tom”. I was intrigued and sat down to listen to what he had to say.
“Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you’re busy with your job. I’m sure they pay you well but it’s a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work seventy or eighty hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter’s dance recital.” He paused and then continued, “Let me tell you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities.” And that’s when he began to explain his theory of a ‘thousand marbles.’
“I too used to be a workaholic when I was younger. Work was my life and I gave everything to it. But then something changed. You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. They say the average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years. Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900 which is the number of weeks that the average person has in their entire lifetime.
“Now stick with me Tom, I’m getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail”, he went on, “and by that time I had lived through over twenty-eight hundred weeks. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside of a large, clear plastic container right here in my workshop next to the radio. Every Sunday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away.
“I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight. And get them straight I did! I now spend more time on those things that matter and do my best to make every day count!
“Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Sunday then God has blessed me with a little extra time to be with my loved ones. But if not, then I know I can die happy, having lived a life with the right priorities. It was nice to talk to you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your loved ones, and I hope to meet you again someday. Have a good morning!”
You could have heard a pin drop when he finished. Even the show’s moderator didn’t have anything to say for a few moments. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about.—And I mean a lot!
I had planned to do some work that morning and then go to the gym. Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. “Come on honey, I’m taking you and the kids to breakfast.”
Her face beamed in the brightest smile that I’ve seen in a while! “Oh, that would be wonderful, darling! What brought this on?”
“Oh, nothing special,” I said. “It has just been a long time since we spent a Sunday together with the kids and that’s not good! I need to make spending time with you and them a priority!”
I gave her a hug and walked out of the room. As an afterthought, I stopped and turned around and called out to her, “Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we’re out? I need to buy some marbles….”