A professor of philosophy walked into her lecture hall with a glass of water in hand. The hall was filled with antsy students who were eager to finish up class before heading home for Thanksgiving break. As she wound her way through the aisles, the professor raised the glass of water where everyone could see it; most of the students anticipated the predictable "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this water?"
The students all went completely silent for a moment as they started thinking it through, then began calling out answers ranging from eight to 20 ounces. One astute student asked, "Does the glass matter?"
The professor replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter; it depends on how long I hold the glass filled with water. If I hold it all up for a minute or two, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, my arm will probably start to ache. If I continue to hold it for a day, my arm will go numb and feel paralyzed. The weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stress and worries that you carry around in life are like that glass of water. Think on them for a minute or so and nothing happens... keep thinking about them for a bit longer, and they begin to hurt. And, if you think about them and hold them up all day long, you will feel paralyzed—incapable of doing anything."
Remember to put the glass down.
Thanksgiving is a time of both letting go and picking up. Each year we have the opportunity to let go of past misunderstandings and mistakes. We also have the opportunity to find clarity and practice gratefulness. The longer we focus on what is truly important, the more we feel relief at putting down our glass of worries and finding joy in today.
I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!