The courage to give all that we have

Led by storyteller and biographical counsellor, Judith Frost-Evans, and educator and storyteller, Clare Coburn, participants in the weekend workshop ‘Courage and Calling’ explored times we have felt called to express our gifts and talents and the courage it takes to follow that calling.

One of the stories which Clare shared was a Hindu story known as ‘One grain’.

riceOnce there was a beggar who always kept a handful of grains in his pocket so at least he could nourish himself by chewing a grain or two on days when no-one was generous. One hot day, he had no luck in receiving alms and after taking a nap in the shade, he woke up to see a great king in a palanquin coming towards him. ‘My lucky day!’ he thought and stopped the carriage. 

The king got down and asked him, ‘What have you to give me?’ The beggar was perplexed, but he reached into his pocket and took out a single grain. The king thanked him, returned to his carriage and went on his way.

That night, the beggar took all the grains out of his pocket and found that one had been turned to pure gold.

‘Oh!’ said the beggar. ‘Why did I not give the king all that I have!’

Stories encapsulate much wisdom, but one way to perceive this story is to wonder what it is that we keep hidden in our pocket. What are the gifts which we fear to share?

See the testimonials page for feedback from the participants who expressed their delight in this gathering of shared wisdom.

Clare Coburn