Of Soup Stones and Inspiration

There is an ancient folktale about a wanderer who pulls a magical soup stone out of his pack and shows it to the astonished villagers. Asked to demonstrate it, he has an onlooker fetch a cauldron, into which he places the stone, with appropriate ceremony and gestures. Now, he requisitions a bunch of carrots and several large onions from the village storehouse. Eager volunteers contribute beans, scraps of meat, and various spices, all of which goes into the pot. Two strapping young peasants fill the pot with water from the nearby well and hang it over the communal hearth. The water begins to bubble, and soon a tantalizing aroma fills the air. The wanderer sniffs at the soup, tastes it, then nods sagely. He reaches in with a ladle, removes the stone, and returns it to his pack after letting it cool. The grateful villagers fill a large wooden bowl with the delicious soup for him, and he eats until his belly can hold no more. His hunger satisfied, he departs, leaving behind him a wondrous tale of a magical stone that conjures up the best soup that anyone can remember.

The soup stone did not, of course, add any of its own essence to the soup, nor was it even strictly necessary, except as a causative agent. Consider the soup stone as a catalyst, a substance that facilitates change without itself being affected. Likewise, think of HOW-2 Meet Women as a catalyst, as words that can inspire and perhaps bring about change in the person reading it, evocative words, magical words. This book is a soup stone. You need only add to the pot the ingredients of motivation, willingness to learn, and self-discipline... then turn up the heat and let the water boil.