The other day, I happened to see a short story on children which immediately caught my attention. A school teacher asked her students to bring some potatoes in a bag in the class on the following day. She told them to inscribe on each potato a name of person whom they hate or dislike to the core of heart. Number of potatoes carried by each student will accordingly be equal to the number of persons he or she hates or terribly dislikes.
The following day, accordingly, each student came with a bag carrying potatoes scribed with name(s) and of course the number of potatoes varied from one to many with different children. Only one child came without such bag who on inquiry informed the teacher that she didn’t hate any person.
The teacher instructed every child to carry bag for twenty-four hours for the next seven days irrespective of where they go or stay or take rest. As the time and days passed, the children started feeling burdensome and some even started complaining about the baggage and smell coming out from the bag due to deteriorating potatoes. The children who were carrying many potatoes in the bag were particularly troubled about the weight and foul smell. However, as obedient pupils they carried on with the assignment for a week.
After a week, every child felt relieved getting rid of the rotten potatoes and the teacher inquired about the personal experiences of each student during the week. Each student narrated his or her problem about the weight and foul smell which got increasingly worse with those carrying more potatoes in the bag.
The teacher then explained this to her students that the situation is very akin to what everyone carries in heart when one hates or dislike people. The child who didn’t carry potatoes as he didn’t have any hatred or dislike remained happy and trouble free all the time while others, depending upon the intensity of hate and dislike, felt burdensome all the time with resultant unhappiness and worries. The teacher concluded by telling her students, “If you can’t bear the foul smell of rotting potatoes for a week, think of the harmful impact of hatred and dislike on your heart that you carry throughout the life.”
It’s true that the hatred and dislike are unwanted baggage that makes our heart heavy, unhealthy and vulnerable in life. On various occasions, one may have difference of opinion or discard on certain issues with people around. But reasoning and a broad sense of understanding should always prevail to realize own faults for corrective action and to forgive others who were wrong when they didn’t behave or act according to your expectations. Our heart is the most valued possession and it needs a regular cleansing of unwanted baggage to keep it healthy and that will also make more room available to experience and store good things.