Inspiring Reflection on the Importance of Family

I read a little story recently that has stuck with me, particularly in light of the annual Chinese New Year focus on family. You can read the whole story, which is by Jeffrey Davis, at I will just summarize here.

Life is Hectic

Two men were talking about the hectic nature of modern life. The younger man was stressed out by 60-70 hours on the job every week just to make ends meet, not enough time for family – sound familiar? The older man responded with his story of “1000 marbles.”

Remembering Life’s Most Important Priorities

The older man had lived his early years with patterns much like the ones the younger man was stuck in. As time marched on, he thought (as most of us do) about mortality. Doodling around, he did a quick calculation: how many Saturdays does a person have within the average lifespan of 75 years. Turns out the number is 3900.

Now at the time he made this calculation, the man was 55 years old and he figured he had about 1000 Saturdays left. He thought about this. And he went out and bought 1000 marbles and put them in a jar. And every Saturday he saw the marbles in the jar shrink just a little as he removed one from the mix.

This helped him keep in the front of his mind the finite time he had to spend with the things that were important in his life. And spurred him to make time for those things.

Honoring the Importance of Family

When the conversation was finished the younger man put aside the plans to do chores he had scheduled for that day. He woke his wife and invited her to breakfast. Explaining his change of plans he said, “Oh, nothing special, it’s 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.”

Share your stories of honoring the importance of family time.

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