A man used to call God every night with the same prayer.
Again and again he would ask, “Do me one favour, just one favour — and I have been asking my whole life. As far as I can see, I am the most miserable man on earth. Why have you chosen me to be the most miserable? I am ready to exchange my misery with anyone else, anyone will do — just let me exchange my misery with someone else. I don’t ask for bliss. Can’t you give me this single opportunity to exchange my misery with someone else? This is not asking much!”
And one night, in his dream, a great voice came from the heavens, saying, “Gather all of your miseries into a bundle and bring them to the temple hall.”
Our man is very 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 rushing. In fact, the whole town has gathered their miseries into bundles to carry them to the temple. By the time he reaches the temple, he becomes afraid, very afraid, because he sees people carrying bigger bundles than his. People that he had always seen smiling — in beautiful clothes and always saying nice things to each other — they are carrying bigger bundles! He becomes a little hesitant whether to go or not to go into the temple, but he has been praying his whole life, so he says to himself, “Let me see what happens.”
All of them enter the temple. The voice says, “Put down your bundles around the hall.” They put down their bundles, and the voice says again, “Now you can choose any bundle that you like.”
And the miracle of miracles happens: everyone rushes to his or her own bundle! Our man also rushes to his own bundle, afraid that someone else may choose it first. Now everyone has chosen their own bundle, with great relief, and they are all happy, carrying their own bundles back to their homes.
Even our man is very happy, for the simple reason, “Who knows what is in the other bundles? At least, I am aware of my own bundle and what it contains. And I have become accustomed to it, and I have become adjusted to my misery.”
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