Friday, March 3, 2006

1000 marbles

This is one of my all-time favourites - one which I would not
get tired of reading. It serves as a reminder sort of. It makes
me treasure life more. It makes me shift my priorities
to include allocating more time for the people and things that
matter to me.

It makes me see and be thankful for how much I have - people
who love me, people whom I love so much, my friends, my work,
my health, my little pleasures in life, everything else around me,
everyone who has one way or another touched my life, You.

Being a Saturday tomorrow, I thought it'd be appropriate to
share this. I hope you'd draw a lesson or two from it. I did.

Here it is:

The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps
it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise,
or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work.
Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most

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 Saturday morning turned
into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from
time to time. Let me tell you about it.

I turned the volume up on my radio in order to listen to a
Saturday 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 sixty or seventy hours a
week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's
dance recital."

He 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

"You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic.
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 Saturdays 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 Saturdays. 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 Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out
and have 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."

"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 Saturday then God has blessed me with
a little extra time to be with my loved ones......

"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. I had planned
to do some work that morning, then go to the gym. Instead,
I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. "C'mon honey,
I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast."

"What brought this on?" she asked with a smile.
"Oh, nothing special," I said. "It has just been a long
time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids.
Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out?
I need to buy some marbles."


May God bless you in all you do.

Source unknown unfortunately


  1. Wow! Very deep! Kinda makes me count my marbles every saturday. But I have a better proposition for tomorrow. I'm meeting fellow bloggers Nurul, Pinat, Zuhri and who knows is tagging along. If you can make it, do let me know at and drop me your number, or

    It'll be my first bloggers meet. But if you have your own marbles to tend to, I am totally cool with that.

  2. hey agus!
    i would like to join...
    but i'll be at treaure hunt tomorrow :)

    a good read :)

  3. jellyfish, that sounds equally fun, if not fantastic! I'm sure we'll hear a lot about the hunt. Boy, you are a busy bee. Weekdays makan makan, weekends treasure hunts.

  4. This gives a whole new (and far more positive) meaning to the expression "losing one's marbles".

    That's a very though-provoking story.

  5. Agus, my apologies. Couldn't get back earlier. Hope you had a blast.

    Jellyfish, hope you had fun too at the treasure hunt.

    MM, sure does, doesn't it?

  6. OK I'll go and buy the marbles!

  7. fH2O, just don't throw them at passing kayaks, okay?

  8. yes, a wonderful read.

    But I caution about the first assumption of 1000 marbles.

    can anyone be certain that we have 1000 or 1 marble left?

    or worst.. none?

    live every day with a meaning and every minute with happiness..