This is a time of change.
After an aeon of homeschooling, those with kids are now facing weeks of MORE childcare over the summer holidays - without even that structure to help.
Others will be beginning to return to the office.
After months of being safe at home in our little bubbles, we are going to be back in shared spaces with our colleagues, with all the interesting complexities that brings...
So this week, for the return of my #SummerStories series, I talk about the tale of the Farmer and His Cart - and what this can teach us about harmony, in families OR teams.
#SummerStories is where I use folk and traditional tales from around the world to learn lessons about how to thrive.
Last year's stories included:
🌟 Inspiration on collaboration through stories from the normally competitive world of Athletics
🌟 Lessons on communication from the Greek myth of Ariadne and Arachne
🌟 What it means to be really committed to something, through the tale of the Chicken and The Pig
🌟 The importance of being honourable, from the story of the Next Emperor of China and the Empty Pot
🌟 Julius Caesar's incredible historical example of the power of self-belief, when he was captured by pirates
🌟 A wonderful lesson on the power of our internal voice from the tale of the Toad and the Tower
🌟 The incredible real-life inspiration of the achievements of astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell
🌟 And finally, a warning about the non-growth mindset from the myth of Jupiter and the Animals
So this week, enjoy this new tale, and what it can teach us about harmony with those closest around us!
One day, the farmer was taking his grain to market.
As usual, he was driving the sacks in his trusty old wooden cart, pulled by his faithful horse.
It was a beautiful day, the harvest had been good, and the farmer was peaceful as he jogged along, enjoying the ride.
Not so the cart…
One of the wheels was discontented.
“None of you understand”, it said to the other parts of the cart.
“I am the most important part of all of you, because without me, the cart would not be able to go. You should all be extra nice to me because of this.”
The other bits of the cart were silent for a second in surprise.
Then the planks that made up the wooden bed of the cart spoke up.
“It is true that without you the cart would not be able to go. But without us, the farmer would not be able to carry anything, so the cart would be useless.”
“Yes!” said the shaft.
“You think you’re so important, but what about me? Without me, the horse would have nothing to pull, so you would all just be sitting there.”
“And don’t forget us!” said all the different parts of the harness in a higher voice.
“We may not be made of wood, and we may be thin and flexible, but we are very important too! Without us, the horse wouldn’t be attached to the cart at all!”
But the wheel wasn’t listening.
“You all say that, but I still disagree. I am the cleverest bit of design, and the most important part of this whole vehicle. So just you remember that!”
A bolt, who had been listening to this conversation, smiled to itself.
It decided that, as the wheel wasn’t listening, it needed to be taught a lesson.
So quietly, gently, it started to wiggle itself loose.
Bit by bit it steadily worked itself out of his hole until…
The arrogant wheel fell off the cart.
The wheel, that had been thought itself the most important part of the cart, had been made completely useless - by a tiny bolt.
The farmer, who had been catapulted onto the soft grassy verge by the crash, sat up, scratched his head, and went to look at the damage.
Quickly he found the bolt, and used it to re-attach the wheel to the cart, and he progressed on his way - his harvest none the worse for the stop
There was silence for little while.
Then the wheel said,
“OK, you’re right. Bolt, you have shown me that all of us have a part to play. We might be different in size and shape and material - but we are all needed - even you, bolt, the smallest of us all.”
And the bolt smiled to itself once more.
The cart went on its way to market - in harmony.
So the moral of the tale: we all have our part to play in our families, and our teams, however small.
Love the differences between us, because that's what makes us stronger!
Wishing you a positive and productive week! 💖
p.s. if you're looking ahead at how to smash your goals in the rest of 2020, my #Finish2020Strong Group Coaching Programme is now full (actually oversubscribed!).