Stone Soup. A Lesson in Life.
A folk tale as old as time itself
Long ago a young traveller walked into a small village. The traveller was hungry. He knocked on the first door he saw. He asked the lady who answered the door if she could spare some food. She explained that she could not, and that the town was in famine. As he walked away, he had an idea. He picked up a stone and returned to the woman’s house.
This time when the lady greeted him he explained that he would like to make her a meal. He would like to make her Stone Soup, but all he needed was a pot to cook the soup in. She laughed at his idea and thought him a bit mad. But she was curious if not as little sceptical so she gave him the pot. He walked to the middle of the town where he built a fire and placed some water and the stone in to the pot.
The story starts to get interesting
By now word had spread around town. A crowd had gathered all eager to see what this young traveller was doing. The traveller dipped a spoon in to the soup and said “Hmmm, this stone soup is good, but it needs something. It needs a carrot”. A curious bystander piped up and said “I have a carrot”. The traveller added the carrot. He tasted it again. “Hmm, this stone soup is good, but it needs an onion”. Another bystander offered an onion for the stone soup. This went on until the stone soup had potato, tomato, celery, bones, salt and herbs.
The traveller and the stone
Finally the traveller proclaimed “Hmm, this stone soup is good, but it needs one thing” and with that he extracted the stone from the soup and threw it to the ground. He then said to the hungry crowd “Who wants to share this stone soup with me? Alone we have nothing, and we starve but together we have everything and we are nourished”.
What does this story teach us?
The stone was not necessary to the stone soup. The contributions of everyone in the town was.
What does this have to do with swapping? Swapping and sharing are very similar because both involve exchange. We share with the understanding that we will be shared with in return as when we swap we also receive something in return. Not all transactions are monetary. Some transactions are personal, emotional and intrinsic and some are direct and agreed in the case of swapping.
Stone soup is still relevant today
Stone Soup has been read for years to children to teach them the value of sharing. Swapping is a form of sharing that allows us to disconnect from the monetary value that is tied in our assets and allows us to look at our assets as opportunities that could lead to other opportunities and experiences. Just like sharing.
Check out the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trbHdayluLA
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