Not so very long ago, there was a cabin nestled in a green valley in the shadow of a blue mountain. Inside, there was a woman sleeping under the beautiful patchwork quilt her grandmother had made.
When she awoke, she stood by her bed and stretched widely as her mother had taught her to do every day of her life.
She walked to the kitchen to drink her morning coffee out of her favorite ceramic mug shaped like a gargoyle made by her son when he was a little boy.
When she finished her coffee, she went to the closet for her canteen that had belonged to her brother, the wool cap that once was her father’s, and the harmonica that belonged to her favorite aunt.
She went out the door and down the trail to the river where she saw many neighbors and friends collecting water for the day.
Her dearest friend waved her over to meet a new woman who had joined her. The woman said “I’m thinking of going up the mountain today. Would you like to come along?”
She answered that she’d love to, but she only brought her canteen and harmonica with her that day. The new friend said, “That’s fine. Please join us.”
The new friend went to others gathered at the river inviting them to join. One by one, they each said, “I’d love to”, but “I only have this,” or “I only have that.”
Each time, she answered with “That’s just fine. Please join us.”
Soon the group was headed up the mountain bringing whatever they had with them along for the journey. As they climbed, some gathered sticks and some dug for mushrooms while others clipped herbs and picked up nuts and seeds.
About halfway up the mountain, a young boy came running down the hillside shouting “There’s a storm coming, we’d better take shelter!”
So, the one who’d brought a cloth pulled it over the mouth of the cave and encouraged everyone to come inside. As they waited, the one who’d brought a story and the one who’d brought a rhyme entertained the group to pass the time.
Once the storm had passed, the group carried on until they reached the mountain top just as the sun was setting over the horizon.
Some set about making a clearing, while others gathered boulders to serve as a sitting place.
The ones who’d gathered sticks and the one who’d brought a match built a fire. The one who’d brought a pot perched it on top. The ones who’d carried water poured it inside, while the one who’d brought a knife passed it to the one who’d brought a potato, the one who’d brought a carrot, and the one who’d brought an onion while those who’d collected mushrooms and herbs placed them in the pot.
As the pot began to boil, the one who’d brought a song began to sing, while the one who’d brought a drum began to drum, and the one with the harmonica began to play.
The ones who brought the dance began to dance as the luscious aroma of the soup was picked up by the wind and carried over to the next mountain and into the valley on the other side.
It just so happened that a woman rocking on her porch in that valley far below caught a whiff of the aroma and a hint of the song which raised in her a thought.
I think I’ll journey up the mountain tomorrow. I wonder who will come along?
Thus, the changemaker’s journey begins again, taking what we have to offer along with the gifts of others as we climb mountains together, sharing the soups of our labor while others pick up the scent!
This allegory relays the four essential parts of every social changemaker’s journey creating “Homegrown Solutions for a Patchwork World.” By relying on our origins and essential beingness as unique humans, we can connect meaningfully with the rare and special gifts of others to accomplish great things and reflect them into the world as examples worth emulating. In this way, the world is changed through the efforts of diverse people committed to a singular mission, to create a world that works for everyone.
To join the Changemaker’s Journey in the real world, watch for my chapter titled The Changemaker Tree: Growing a Better World from the Ground Up in the upcoming book, The Wellness Universe Guide to Complete Self Care: 25 Tools to Achieve Anything. Learn more about my work to cultivate homegrown changemakers and download your copy of my eBook, Changemaker YOU, here https://www.thewellnessuniverse.com/world-changers/patriciatalbot.
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Patricia Talbot, Ed.D., is living her mission to cultivate homegrown changemakers ready to live their highest calling for the world. By honoring our roots and transforming the way we show up and work with others, we transcend our roles as “good citizens” to become “global changemakers.”