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Let it go!

A potato lesson teaches letting go of hatred

Caroline, a primary school teacher, always worry about her students' poor academic results. At last she thought of an idea to help them.

One day, she asked all her students to bring a big bag full of potato to school. Her students wondered what potato had to do with study but they still followed her instruction.

When the class began next morning, each student had a big bag full of potato on their table. They waited curiously for Caroline to give them further instruction. One of her student, Mike thought, "Are we having a potato eating competition?"

Finally Caroline began to give her instruction, "Please put all the potatoes on the table. Everyone should only have an empty bag." So the children emptied their potato bag, causing noisy thump sound of potato hitting the table.

When the classroom was silent again, Caroline continued, "Boys and girls, has someone hurt you before and you won't forgive them?" Most of the students nodded slowly.

"Now, choose a potato to represent a person you could not forgive. Write their name down on that potato and throw it into your potato bag," Caroline added.

The potato game begins
Suddenly, the silent class became a noisy market with little kids and their potatoes.

Mike threw his first potato into the bag and said, "Sam hit my head last week. So I throw one here." Then he threw the second potato and said, "Jane said my hair is ugly. So I throw another one for her."

"Mary didn't want to lend me her exercise book. So I throw one more here," Mike continued to fill his potato bag. He felt upset with his classmates and swore never to forgive them. At last, he had 10 potatoes in his bag.

When the students finished their potato business, the bell rang signaling the class was over.

Caroline told her students, "For this week, bring your potato bag wherever you go. This is your homework. If anyone hurt you, just write their name on a new potato and throw it into your potato bag."

Releasing the hatred
Initially the students were happy. They can release their hatred through throwing the potatoes. And most of the potato bags were full. Michelle had more than 50 potatoes in her bag!

But a fter a few days, excitement turned to burden. Their potato bag became heavier. The kids no longer had the energy to carry their heavy potato bag all the time. So they turned to their teacher.

Mike complained, "Teacher! When can we complete this exercise? We are almost buried under these potatoes!"

The burden of hatred
Caroline smiled and said, "So now you know the burden of not forgiving others, don't you?" Puzzled faces across the classroom looked at Caroline. The students couldn't get it.

"You're burdening yourself with these potatoes. The more you couldn't forgive others, the heavier your load becomes," explained Caroline.

"So what shall we do?" Mike asked again.

"Simple. Just let it go. Forgive everyone and take out all the potatoes from your bag. This will ease your entire burden. And you'll be free." Caroline said.

"But they have hurt me before. And I hate them!" Mike protested.

"Just... let it go..." Caroline said slowly.



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