Once a man came to an elder and saw that he was very kind to everyone. The man asked him:
– You’re so wise. You’re always in a good mood, and you’re never angry. Help me become like you.
The elder agreed and asked the man to bring a potato and a transparent packet.
– If you get angry at someone or hold a grudge against someone, – the elder said, – take a potato. Carve the name of the person you are in conflict with on this potato and put it in the packet.
– And that’s it? – the man wondered.
– No. You have to keep this packet with you all the time. Every time you resent someone, you have to put a potato in it.
The man agreed. After a while, his packet got filled with numerous potatoes and became rather heavy. It was really difficult to carry it every day. What is more, the first potato that he had put in the packet started to rot. It was covered with a slimy and nasty patina, while the other potatoes sprouted and began to stink.
Then the man came to the elder and said:
– It’s just impossible to carry this packet. Firstly, it’s too heavy. Secondly, the potatoes have rotted. Give me some other advice. But the elder replied:
– The same happens in one’s soul. We just can’t notice it at once. Our acts turn into habits, and our habits turn into our character that bring nasty vices to life. I just gave you a possibility to look at this process from the outside. Every time you decide to resent someone or take offense at someone, think thoroughly whether you need this burden.
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds