Pixabay image

Pixabay image

COLUMN

ZYTARUK: Hey Surrey, fill your jars with precious rocks

The sand can stay at the beach

homelessphoto

So let it be written…

An ancient Chinese curse is, “May you live in interesting times.”

No one can say we are not. But how we choose to live these days, and the lessons we learn during Pandemic 2020, could very well be life-changing, and – despite the threat of contagion – perhaps even beneficial.

Just weeks ago, among many people’s biggest concerns were outrageous ICBC premiums, high taxation, traffic congestion, that sort of stuff. All still very good reasons for apprehension.

And let’s not forget all that outrage people express, in all kinds of mediums, about everything, everywhere and all the time.

For several months after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, with a total death toll of 2,996, the United States was in a State of Earnestness.

Eventually, though, America soon fell back into worrying about the silly things movie stars and pop divas get up to.

But at least for a time, there was some sober reflection.

This grave threat we now face, of course, is on a global scale. How we respond to it as individuals, with social distancing, is everything. Also important is the lessons we learn about life, and what really matters.

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Step back, people. Personal space is where it’s at

Many years ago, a friend told me a story about a college professor who stood up in front of his class one day holding a great big glass mayonnaise jar filled to the brim with golf ball-sized rocks.

“Is this jar full?” the professor asked. His students replied in the affirmative.

He then produced a pail filled with small pebbles, and poured them into the jar. They tinkled down into the cracks between the larger stones and settled in.

“Is the jar now full?” he asked his students, who by now were giggling.

Once again, they agreed.

Finally, he pulled out a small box of sand and poured it into the jar, filling what space remained.

This wise professor then told his class that the glass jar symbolized their life. The golf ball-sized rocks represent what really matters – family, friends. Your health, their health.

The pebbles, he continued, are still important, but not as much, such as your job, your car…

And the sand was the small stuff – things we typically break a sweat over, but really shouldn’t.

The point of the lesson was to bring home the fact that if you pour too much sand and pebbles into your jar, there won’t be any room left for the rocks – you know, the things that really matter.

It’s times of crisis when we especially value the rocks in our lives. The pebbles and the sand? Not so much. But sometimes, when the storm subsides, we all-too-often turn our attention back to these lesser things.

As we pass through this COVID-19 horror together, may we all find our jars filled with precious rocks. And after the storm passes and we venture into the new normal, whatever that will look like, let’s remember to cherish our jar of rocks, and never let go of them,

The sand can stay at the beach.

So let it be done.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

CoronavirusSurreyzytaruk column so let it be done

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (Now-Leader file photo)
LETTER: Nobody in Surrey believes Doug McCallum and his half-truths

Policing promises remind me of mayor’s vow to build SkyTrain at half the projected cost

Tom Jackson and bassist Kirby Barber in a trailer for "The Huron Carole," from video posted to youtube.com.
Tom Jackson’s ‘Huron Carole’ concert in White Rock goes virtual to feed hungry Canadians

Surrey broadcast date of Blue Frog-recorded show is Friday, Dec. 11, to benefit Surrey Food Bank

Pastry chef Eric Fernandez stands alongside some of his many creations at Popup Patisserie, a pop-up pastry shop on 176th Street that will be open until the end of December. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Popup Patisserie opens in Cloverdale

Handmade holiday pastries shop located on 176th Street

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
South Surrey woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Deb Antifaev

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Most Read