The Parable of “US”


Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a great famine in a land that lasted for several years. The people grew weak and their hopes diminished. As their dreams faded and their crops failed, people became reclusive and reluctant to share what little they had to eat. One cold winters day, a stranger arrived in a village where the people were starving. One old lady told the Stanger that he could sleep in her barn, but that she could not afford to feed him. The stranger replied that this was all ok. Amused, the old lady asked him if he had food. Most self assuredly, he explained that he had a “magic stone” with which he created food for himself and others that are hungry. Soon the whole village learnt of the stranger and quickly asked him to help, using the magic stone.

 

“Well”, he said, “does someone have a big pot”? Quickly the villagers organized the biggest cooking pot they could find. The stranger filled it with water and made a fire underneath. As the water started to boil, he took a small white rock from his pocket. Carefully he submerged the rock into the water, whilst stirring the pot continuously. Eventually he started to taste the boiling water with the rock in it. He replied, “The stew is starting to taste just great.” He stirred and stirred, tasted again. Eventually he said, “ It is almost ready but could do with a little carrot. Pity we don’t have just a little carrot”. One of the villagers shouted out “ O I can find a little carrot.” The carrot was added to the pot and soon the stranger said again” Almost ready, but what a pity we don’t have a small rabbit and maybe some potatoes to add.” Again the villagers responded and the rabbit and potatoes were found and added.

 

Stirring and adding more odd ingredients the brew became a delicious soup. Eventually the villagers need another pot, as the first one became too small. That evening all the villagers were fed. The stranger became a village celebrity, and was asked to repeat the process again. The stranger replied that he had to move on, that his destiny was yet incomplete, and that he needed to leave in the morning. The villagers, now panicked, begged him to stay, as they would starve if he left. “Don’t worry”, he replied. “I will leave the magic stone here. If you use it exactly as I did, you will never be hungry. The villagers, most grateful, to ownership of the magic stone and never suffered another day, using the strange man’s recipe exactly as he did. Soon the villagers would grow strong and more able to hunt and farm their lands.

 

As the stranger left the villagers the felt a sense of pride. Happily walking trough the mountains and valleys, the reached the outer skirts of another village. On route he saw some villagers on his path, looking hungry and begging for food. As he approached the river, he sat in the water, and found a small white rock. As he dried it and put it in his pocket he smiled, knowing that he would help another village to find itself. Just a small reminder of what could happen if we stick together. One of the biggest problems of our times is that we stare so hard at what we don’t have, that we completely forget what we do have. If we could just became aware of what we have and what our collective efforts do and can achieve, we could change the way we live.  

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