Making Soup from Stones

Last month I came across this beautiful story, which I feel is about taking the lead and recognising and understanding people's fears. By being creative when faced with challenges we can help others shift perception. Often, that is all that is needed for finding inspiring solutions and together enjoying the process. So, once upon a time.....

Many years ago, three soldiers, hungry and weary of battle, came upon a small village. The villagers, suffering after a meager harvest and the many years of war, quickly hid what little they had to eat and met the three at the village square, wringing their hands and bemoaning their lack of anything to eat.

The soldiers spoke quietly amongst themselves and the first soldier then turned to the village elders and said. "Your tired fields have left you nothing to share, so we will share what little we have: the secret of how to make soup from stones."

Naturally, the villagers were intrigued and soon a fire was put to the town's greatest kettle and the soldiers dropped in three smooth stones. "Now this will be a fine soup," said the second soldier; "but a pinch of salt and some parsley would make it wonderful!" Up jumped a villager, crying "I know where there is some parsley!" and left. Off she ran, returning minutes later with an apron full of parsley and a turnip. As the kettle boiled on, the memory of the village steadily improved; soon barley, carrots, beef and cream had found their way into the great pot, and a cask of wine was rolled into the square as all sat down to feast.

They ate and danced and sang well into the night, refreshed by the feast and their new-found friends. In the morning, the three soldiers awoke to find the entire village standing before them. At their feet lay a satchel of the village's best breads and cheese. "You have given us the greatest of gifts: the secret of how to make soup from stones," said an elder, "and we shall never forget." The third soldier turned to the crowd, and said: "There is no secret, but this is certain: it is only by sharing that we may make a feast." And off the soldiers wandered, down the road.

Reading this story reminded me of the times when I really enjoyed working together with others and I recognized that there was always an element of openness and sharing that led to creativity and joy at the same time. We worked well as a group or team when we had the ability to remove the biggest roadblock - the 'Fear Factor'. And I have found this to be the key for compassionate, effective and inspiring communication ever since and, this is something that can be learned.

With my best wishes for creative teamwork.


Author:. Christiane specialises in coaching Executives and their teams with managing change, achieving their objectives and developing their soft skills for lasting success.She is an EMCC accredited Leadership Coach & Mentor with a professional background of over 25 years experience as Senior Manager in internat... Go Deeper | Website

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