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.