A man used to call every night to God and he would pray the same prayer. Again and again he would ask, “Do one favor for me, at least one favor — and I have been asking my whole life. As far as I can see, I am the most miserable man on the earth. Why have you chosen me to be the most miserable? I am ready to exchange my misery with anybody else, anybody will do — just let me exchange my misery with somebody else. I don’t ask for bliss. Can’t you give me only this single opportunity to exchange my misery with somebody else? This is not asking much!”
And one night in a dream he saw God had spoken. A great voice came from the heavens saying, “Gather all of your miseries into package and bring them to the temple hall.”
So the whole town gathers their miseries into big package and they bring them. This man is tremendously happy: “So the moment has come! It seems something is going to happen!”
He rushes with his bundle. On the way he finds others also are rushing. By the time he reaches to the temple he becomes afraid, very afraid, because he sees people are carrying bigger package than his. People that he had always seen smiling — Rotarians, Lions — in beautiful clothes and always saying nice things to each other, and they are carrying bigger packages! He starts becoming a little hesitant whether to go or not to go, but he has been praying his whole life, so he says, “Let us see what happens.”
They enter into the temple. The voice says, “Put your packages around the hall.” They put their packages, and the voice says again, “Now you can choose any package that you like.”
And the miracle of miracles happens: everybody rushes to his own package! This man also rushes so fast towards his own package, afraid that if somebody else chooses it then he will be at a loss. Everybody has chosen his own package, with great relief and they are all happy, carrying their packages back to their homes. Even this man is very happy, for the simple reason that “Who knows what is in the other’s package? At least we are aware of our own package and what it contains. And we have become accustomed, we have become adjusted to our misery.”
Moral: There is famous saying: “The grass is always greener on the other side.”. We always focus on other side rather than on our own side. We forgot our pleasure and magnify our miseries when we see other side. Better to look at our side and be happy with what god has given to us.
Package of Misery – Moral Philosophical Stories