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The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

Title – The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee
By – Marcey Gaitan

A professor stood before his child development class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents the mind of each student as they enter your classroom on the first day of school. The golf balls are the important things — God, family, friends, health, home, and the children’s favorite passions — and if everything else was lost and only they remained, their life would still be full.

The pebbles represent the knowledge they have acquired up until now. Unfortunately, each child will have a different amount of pebbles.

The sand is your responsibility! It is your job to fill their minds as tight as you possibly can in the short time that you have them. At the end of each year, the sand comes together as pebbles, ready to be sent off to the next teacher.

The professor paused…

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”

He replied, “The coffee is CARE and LOVE.”

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