Once a man was lost in a desert. The last drop of water in his flask had run out three days ago, and he was beyond exhaustion. He knew that if he didn't find water soon he would surely die.
Suddenly he thought he saw in the distance ahead of him a small hut. Knowing it could be just a mirage or a hallucination, he stumbled forward towards it. As he got closer, he realised it was real. He dragged his tired body to the door with the last of his strength.
The hut seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. His heart skipped a beat when he saw in the hut - a water hand pump... It had a pipe going down through the floor, which he hoped was tapping a source of water deep under-ground.
When he tried working the hand pump, no water came out. After a long hour of hard pushing, nothing happened. At last he collapsed on the ground with despair realising he was going to die after all.
It was then, lying on the floor, that the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the hut. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation.
He uncorked the bottle and was about to gulp down the water, when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. The handwriting on the paper read : “Pour this water into the hole of the pump to start using it. Don't forget to fill the bottle again when you're done."
Now he had a real dilemma. What to do? Should he not just simply drink the water from the bottle? If he let the water go into the pump, what assurance did he have that it would work? What if the pump was broken? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up?
But then... what if the instruction was correct? Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
Sometime life challenges us to make some tough decisions. Take a moment and think, What would you do in his place?
The man closed his eyes, said a prayer, and with trembling hands poured the water into the pump and started working it again.
After a long time, he heard a gurgling sound, and then fresh water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use. He was saved!
After drinking his fill, when he recovered, he looked around the hut. He found a pencil and a map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from the nearest village, but at least now he knew where he was and in which direction to go.
He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back on. Before leaving the hut, he took the pencil in his hand and added his own writing below the instruction: "Believe me, it works!"
Believe me - Stories work!
As we witness the suffering, challenges, wars, and pain in the world, stories can take us beyond the grief of the broken heart to places where we can choose again to love life for its diverse complexity.
Storytelling can create a safe container for us to learn and practice adaptability, mutability and agility. The intuitive wisdom of the Imagination can keep us soft and open to questions. It has the power to erode stubborn forms and hard structures that no longer serve our development.
It is a mighty calling to the heart to ignite social warmth and coherence.
Rather than fearing life, sinking into numbness, despair or paralysis,
stories encourage us to participate in the world as ‘Imaginative co-creators’, awakening our response-ability as we invite in new visions and possibilities.
It is my intention, hope and wish to continue honing and developing the much needed gifts of stories and storytellers for our world through some brand new and some old favourite storytelling courses and adventures in 2022. I invite you to join me!
To read more musings from Roi visit : www.roigalor.com/musings-1