Ap Zhangba The Grasshopper Learns a Lesson
When building their permanent houses, the villagers of Rukha counted on each other. One house after another was constructed and everyone was happy to help, knowing that their turn would come. Only Zhangba, a 35-year-old father of three teenage children, living in a bamboo shack, had to be reminded to take up his responsibility every morning. He would rather sleep till midday, roam around without a care in the world, play his lute (dramnen), and drink local ara while the whole village was busy helping each other. He did not believe that it was possible for a very poor
community to build houses for every family and did not bother helping his fellow villagers. His view changed dramatically when he saw the steady completion of house after house. And soon, it would be his turn.
This was the moment of his realization, that if had to help to receive help.
And that he could potentially become the only person without a new permanent house. Now he wanted to work. He longed for longer working days and shorter nights every time he woke up so that he could save all the time he had wasted. He realized more and more, how important every single person’s contribution was to meet the collective target, and how many difficulties he must have caused due to his apathetic behavior.
By the time his house was constructed, not only did Zhangba have a new house but his attitude had also changed significantly. The “grasshopper” had become more responsible. From then on, he came to help build all the remaining houses and never missed a day of work. Today, Zhangba is setting an example as a hard-working assistant- carpenter constructing houses in the neighboring villages and earning his wages. He even harbors hopes of becoming a master carpenter someday. And he is thankful to the same field officer who always had to remind him to contribute his share of the labor. And today every labor is a labor of love.