It was the coldest winter ever and many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. This way they covered and protected themselves from the extreme cold; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they shared their heat with each other. 

After a while, they decided to distance themselves from each other to stop being wounded. As they did this, they began to die…alone and frozen.  So, they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the earth. They wisely decided to stay together again. They learned to live with the small wounds that a very close relationship could cause because the most important thing was the warmth given by the other. And in the end, they survived the coldest of winter ever! 

Living together as a family, as community, as party or even as a nation is a challenge especially when we come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Our sharp teeth can bite deep into people and hurt them; our rough and overbearing nature can come heavily down on people; our long and sharp tongue can be dangerous for others; our straight and rigid stand on issues can put people off. But we need to adjust to these attitudes, behavior and emotions to cope with the demands of living together. It is said, “No relationship is all sunshine, but two people can share one umbrella and survive the storm together.”