Listen to episode 294 of the Inspirational Living podcast: A Parable of Life & Achievement. Edited and adapted from It’s Up to You! by Ralph Parlette.
Inspirational Podcast Excerpt: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you feel inspired, do tell your friends about us. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from It's up to you! by Ralph Parlette, published in 1918.
I would like you to close your eyes for a moment. Now, imagine that I hold in my hand a glass jar containing little white beans and big black walnuts. I mix them all up. Then I shake the jar. They un-mix. The walnuts go to the top and the little beans go to the bottom.
That always happens. You have seen it happening all your life, all around you, in a thousand different ways. But have you really seen it? Have you ever noticed how many times we have to see a thing before we really see it? Why don’t you try it yourself?
Get a jar, a box, or a bucket, and put into it pebbles, marbles, blocks, or any different-sized things of about the same specific gravity. Mix them in any way, and then shake. Note how more perfectly than human hands can sort them, they will sort themselves just by the shaking. Each object finds its place according to its size.
The littlest ones get on the bottom, the next larger a little higher, the next larger a little higher, and the largest will shake to the top. When they shake into their place they stay there. Go on shaking, but they won't change — the biggest will stay on the top and the littlest on the bottom.
Now, suppose these objects in the jar could talk. Do you see that littlest bean in the bottom? I think if he could talk, he would say, “Help, Help! Help me up. Here I am in the bottom and so unfortunate and low down. I never had a chance like them big ones up at the top. Help me up!”
I say, “Yes, Little Bean, I'll help you. Cheer up and hold tight, for I am going to boost you.” And you see, I will get him clear to the top.
There, you see him up on the top. But the jar shakes. And back to the bottom shakes Little Bean, right where he was before I boosted him. I hear him say, “Hey, I slipped! You try that over again, put me back to the top and I'll stick there.”
“All right, Little Bean, I'll put you back to the top.” So I put him back on top. But he cannot stay on top. I shake the jar, and he shakes right down to the bottom. I can put him up a thousand times, and he will shake right back to the bottom. Why? You know why. I increase his altitude without increasing his dimensions, and he thus reduces to his lowest position!