The theory of 1,000 marbles

There’s a post on Positive Outlooks regarding a theory of a thousand marbles and our perspective in life. It entails the conversation between an older gentleman and a younger one in a Saturday morning talk show.

“He was telling whoever he was talking with about a thousand marbles.”

The conversation being tossed around was about how “Tom” was spending his life making more money with more work while spending less time with his family, to the point of missing his children’s “momentous” occasions in life.

To maintain a good perspective of priorities, he began to explain his theory of “a thousand marbles”, which is basically a little arithmetic.

The average person lives is about 75 years. There are 52 weeks in a years. Which means that there are 52 Saturdays for every year. Multiply that by 75, the average number of years we live and that gives you 3,900 Saturdays in an average persons’s life.

If you’re reading this and you’re 55 years old now, then you’ve lived through 2,860 Saturdays. And if you live through the average life span, it would mean that you have about 1,000 Saturdays left to enjoy in your life.

He went to several toy stores to buy a total of 1,000 marbles. Took them home. Placed them in a clear plastic container. And every Saturday since then, took one marble out of the container and threw it away.

“I found out that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused 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. Now let me tell you one more thing before I sign off and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the last marble out of the container. I figure if I make it till next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.”

Somehow we’re constantly reminded how short life is or how finite our existence is. And how time flies. Spending it in hate, anger and negative thoughts is such a wasteful process and we simply end up regretting it down the road.

We should be grateful for another day, to see the beautiful things around us, appreciate the kindness of people, the opportunity to seize the moment to give joy and love.

“If we live each moment in mindfulness, then it does not matter how many marbles we live through or how short or long life is, because we have lived it fully.”

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