A critique on Rocks, Pebbles and Sand story

I start with the link to a well-known video, which I am sure many of you have seen. Surely, this is an important lesson in life; very important from a management perspective. It is the story of rocks, pebbles, sand and water; how they could be filled in a jar.

The video gives a beautiful interpretation. Though we may not follow, many believe this is the way life should be…

But is it true always?

Can the life be different? Should we always look only for filling the jar to the max? Should that logically arranged conception of arrangement the best always??

When we give a child all the 4 things and ask him/her to fill in the jar, will s/he do it in this systematic fashion? But we, who are intelligent and educated, will do it this away.. (atleast after seeing somebody doing it brilliantly like this)

What makes the rock the most important thing in life? Just because it is bigger in size and shape, does it need to be the most important? Why can’t it be equally important in life as water?

If I take a simple example considering that jar as a country. Rocks are the powerful and the rich, who occupy a lot of space. Water represents the extremely poor (or refugees/migrants) who are extremely flexible. Why the rich needs to have the right to occupy first. Is the flexibility of water misused to benefit the inflexible rock? Why the water and sand needs to squeezed in between the rocks? Surely business and management might love this technique? Our developmental models follow this too. But Is not development much more than following business patterns?

I too might follow the instructions of video for some aspects of life. But don’t make it the absolute truth applicable for all situations. Today, some proponents would say, “it is applicable for most of the cases, some few exceptions may be there”. I struggle to accept that view that this way of filling the jar is the best way, except in a few case. Why can’t we say that this is one of the good ways, definitely not ‘the one’ for all cases.

Thanks for reading! :)

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A Jesuit interested to think and write; Loves philosophy, spirituality, politics…. Believes in God & well-being of all humans… Open to difference & newness..

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