With our extensive experience working with children we have come to love a simple children’s folktale called “The Stone Soup”. The story follows three travelers who arrive in a small village with nothing more than an empty cooking pot. The villagers were quite distant with the new visitors, unwilling to share any of their food stores with the hungry strangers. Then the travelers go to a nearby stream and fill their cooking pot with water, drop a large stone in and as they start to build a fire under it, one of the villagers becomes curious and asks them what they are doing. The travelers answer that they have a very special magical stone that makes delicious soup. More and more villagers become intrigued and gather around the travelers to see this great wonder. The travelers go on to explain that this soup, which tastes wonderful still needs a little bit of garnish to improve the flavor, which unfortunately they are missing. One of the fascinated villagers exclaims that they have some extra seasoning to help them out. Another villager states that they have a few extra carrots and so on and so forth until there is a lovely and nourishing pot of soup that is enjoyed by all.
The beauty of this story is that without even knowing, together they have created something beautiful by contributing what they could. The simple understanding that when you share your gifts, you can create so much more with so little.