Master, student and a potato sack
Master, student and a potato sack - a story about holding grudges
A story with a lesson to share with the people you love
A student asked his teacher: “You are always in a good mood, relaxed, and never angry. Can you teach me how to be more like you?”
The teacher agreed and asked the student to bring a large sack full of potatoes and told him:
“Every time you get angry at someone or take offense at someone, take one potato, write down the name of the person with whom you had the conflict with and put the potato in the sack. Do this whenever you offend someone as well.”
“And that’s it?” The student wondered.
“No” replied the teacher, “You have to carry this bag with you all the time, and every time you get offended, you add a potato to bag.”
The student agreed.
After some time has passed the student’s bag has been filled up with potatoes and became quite heavy to carry around. It was very inconvenient for him to carry the bag everywhere with him all the time.
In addition, the potatoes began to rot and the bag became damp. The potatoes grew roots and started to smell bad and unpleasant.
The student returned to the teacher and said
“I cannot carry this sack any longer, it’s too heavy and the potatoes have started to rot!”
The teacher looked at him with a smile and said
“The same thing happens to you and most other people around you, but most people do not pay attention to it. They continue to carry all their negative thoughts with them. These thoughts become their habits. The habits become an integral part of their lives.
“I gave you a chance to deepen your understanding of this process by looking at it from the side.”
“Whenever you decide to be insulted or insult someone else, think for a second, if you would like to take with you the angry and negative thoughts on your life’s journey or would you rather leave them behind”
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Are you angry at anyone or holding a grudge against them?
- Was it possible not to be angry or less angry in the same situation?
- How could you have resolved the problem so that you don’t get to carry the anger with you everywhere?
- Explain to yourself that, many times, people around you get annoyed and angry but cannot actually influence the scenario of the situation (i.e. road rage, customer service calls, colleagues at work…). These are the situations that should not be kept suppressed deep inside of ourselves. The best way to go about it is just to smile and not respond. Just like interacting with a rude stranger for the first and only time in our lives