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Sharing - Four Beggar Soup - Story

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Sharing - Four Beggar Soup - Story
« on: February 05, 2013, 09:48:02 AM »
VALUES:  Sharing.

STORY:    Four beggars usually met at an old shack at the end of the day. On this particular day, they were very miserable because none of them had received much in their begging bowls.

The first said: “I only got this piece of meat today.” The second said: “I didn’t get anything. I just picked up these few vegetables outside the fruit and vegetable store.”

The third moaned that all he had been given was a handful of herbs that he couldn’t eat on their own. The fourth beggar had not done much better: “I only received this handful of old, dried beans, but they aren’t very nice!”

As they sat around the fire, one of them had a great idea. “Let’s put all our bits together and boil them. In this way, we can make a tasty stew and share it.” They all agreed.

However, the first beggar thought: “I don’t want to share. I’ll just pretend to throw my meat into the pot. They’ll never know and I’ll eat my meat later.” So he pretended to put the meat into the pot.

Now the same idea had also occurred to the other beggars and the shack was so dark that no-one could see what the others were doing.

Eventually, one of them suggested that the stew should now be ready and, in turn, each of them helped himself to a bowl. They drank the hot water in absolute silence, learning the lesson that selfishness is a tasteless thing!


The South African word “Ubuntu” comes from the saying “umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu “ which means a person is a person through (other) persons. It is the opposite of being selfish, and it emphasises community over the individual.

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