The story of the ham

One morning, Mom was cooking the Sunday roast. In walked her daughter Mary. “What are you making Mommy?”

“I’m making your favourite Sunday roast darling – roast ham.”

“Can I help Mom?,” asked Mary.

Sure you can,” replied Mom. “Now, first we cut the ends off, then we apply the basting sauce.”

“Why do we cut the ends off Mom?”

“Well you see, this is your great grandmother’s recipe and it has been handed down from generation to generation.”

“But why?,” insisted Mary.

Well my dear, I don’t really know, lets phone Granny.” And with that they called up Granny.

“Why do we cut the ends off the ham Granny?,” inquired Mary.

“Well my dear, this is a very old recipe, it was handed down from generation to generation,” replied Granny.

“Yes, but why cut off the ends?”

“Well I tell you what, let’s ask Great Gran.” So they called up Great Gran. “Hello Great Gran, when you make your famous roast ham, why do you cut off the ends of the ham?”

Well my darling that’s very simple. You see, the ham doesn’t fit into my pot, so I need to cut off the ends to make it fit.”


How true is that in our lives too? How many times do we copy the previous generation without questioning why they do what they do? Are you cutting off the ends of your ham when times have changed? So stop and ask yourself this question: “Are my beliefs serving me or are they just handed down and I accept them with no questions asked?”

I find this subject fascinating. Where did we inherit our beliefs from and are they serving us? For example, how many people get money advice from broken people or how many people get financial advice from family or parents who are themselves battling to make it? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to get advice from someone who has succeeded before you? It sounds obvious, but everyone just seems to follow the crowd and then they wonder why it doesn’t work out.

  • Excerpt from my dad’s book “What They Believe” by Des Werner.
  • Picture credit: