There was an old man who lived together with his wife and
their three beloved sons. After getting very sick and realizing that he only had
a few days to live here on earth, he started to give his three sons special
advice about their future life. First the father insisted on the importance of
his children staying in close contact with the people in their clan, for
example, their aunts and uncles.
Then two days before his death he called his children into
his room where he was lying in bed and said: "My sons, I ask each of you to go
outside and bring back one stick." The three children did as they were asked.
Then the old man asked his eldest son to break his stick. He bent it and broke
it. Similarly the father asked his second and third sons to do the same. Each
time they successfully broke their stick.
Then the old man asked his three sons to go out again and
get similar sticks. When they returned he asked his eldest son to tie the three
sticks together in a bundle. Then he asked his firstborn son to try to break the
three sticks as he had done earlier with his one stick. But he could not break
the bundle of three sticks together. The second son also tried but failed. So
too the third son. Finally the old man gave his last testament to his three
children by saying: "It is important for you to always stay together like this
bundle of sticks. Unity is strength. Division is weakness."