Stone Soup: A Japanese Parable about Gifting
Once upon a time a tattered traveler came to a small village and asked for
something to eat. “No, we have barely enough for ourselves,” said the wary
villagers as they started shutting the door. “Then could you spare some
water for my pot,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.
ordinary rocks from his pocket,
“These magical stones would make a delicious
“Stone soup!” the villagers cried, thinking the stranger quite mad. “Who
ever heard of stone soup?” Still they gave him the water hoping to get the
crazy man away from their village.
Soon a crowd gathered as the traveler built a fire under his large pot of
water and reverently added a handful of stones. After a while he tasted a
steaming spoonful and sighed, “Hmm.“
“How is it?” the curious villagers asked. “Not bad,” he smiled “but it’s a
shame I don’t have any onions.” A bag of onions was quickly passed forward.
Then the traveler said the soup might be good with potatoes, which another
villager eagerly gave. Everyone wanted to have a hand in this mysterious
soup. Very soon the pot was filled with celery, mushrooms, peas, and barley.
Happily, the traveler used them all to cook a delicious soup that fed the
The villagers were amazed that such a wonderful soup could be made from
This 16th century Japanese fable has many meanings. It is a
lesson in community, that when we join together with a smile and our magical
stones, we can create amazing outcomes. It’s about individuals combining
their resources in order to create something good for all. It is about
reciprocity, the belief that what you give will eventually come back to you
in like fashion. It is a story of abundance–when you offer what you think
may be meager, there will still be plenty.
There are many reasons to Gift or donate to a nonprofit, none more
important than an affinity with its vision and mission. If you feel an
affinity with the vision of Temple of the Goddess, we invite you to join us
and support our mission by making a tax-deductible contribution. In these
pages you will find many ways of Gifting: Immediate Donations,
Planned Giving, and other fun ways such as eScrip and Amazon. Your
tax-deductible contributions as well as donations of time, energy, and
creativity are gratefully accepted and deeply valued.