A terrific movie from director Rob Reiner starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman popularized the term “bucket list.” As you probably know, your “bucket list” is a collection of those things you want to do before you “kick the bucket” and check out of this world.
On bucketlist.org, for example, there are 10,000 recommendations of things to do before you die…and it contains everything from visiting the Louvre (which I’ve done and want to do again) to eating at Del Taco for thirty straight days (which I have no desire to achieve)!
But the more I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized I don’t want a “bucket list,” because a bucket is best defined as a watertight pail — it’s used to collect something (water, for example) and hold it without spilling. And, that’s my problem with it.
From my perspective, the life well lived is not one about collecting and holding — it’s about growing and sharing. To merely gather experiences to be placed in the bucket to contain doesn’t help anyone except the owner of the pail.
Don’t get me wrong — there are LOTS of activities I want to take part in before I depart this earthly existence. However, I want to share those in person with my close family and friends — and communicate in a variety of ways with others in hope it will provide insight or motivation for them to do something distinctive and memorable.
What if, instead, we had a “pitcher list”?
A pitcher, unlike a bucket, is generally used for both obtaining and storing — AND sharing and pouring. It would make us consider that not only should we push ourselves to do what we dream, but we should also require ourselves to be disciplined enough to share what we’ve learned and done with others…so they might be similarly inspired.
Don’t fill up your bucket with items from the list and keep it to yourself…rather, load up your pitcher and then pour out the benefit of your actions to nourish the seeds of inspiration you may plant.
One more thought — when you pour out from the pitcher, all of a sudden it has room for MORE experiences and life goals for accomplishment to share in the benefit of others.
And, isn’t that what living is REALLY all about?