Fable: Anger

Once upon a time, when God had seen how the people had turned away from their evil deeds, he changed his mind about the calamity he had prepared and kept the inevitable disaster from them.

One man among the citizenry in that ancient land was not pleased with this turn of events. Because he felt repentant for his prior misdeeds, he expected to be punished and angrily spoke to God, telling him that he was unhappy with this turn of events and would rather die than go on living, as punishment for his prior transgressions. At the same time this man acknowledged that this god was slow to make judgements, slow to mete out punishment, and infinitely patient and tolerant.

God said to him gently, “Do you have a right to be angry?”

The man walked away from god, went out into the countryside, erected a shelter for himself and waited.

God felt sorry for the man, because it was so hot. Out of his compassion, he made a bush to grow right there, to shelter the man and give him shade and ease his discomfort. The man was happy for the bush, settled himself down and went to sleep.

At dawn the next day, god made a worm to attack the bush and it withered. When the sun rose, the man woke up and noticed the bush was dying. He angrily berated the bush for withering and dying and shook his fist toward heaven. The sun beat down on the man, making him quite uncomfortable. A sultry wind came up, making the man suffer so much that he asked God to die right then and there, rather than endure the suffering.

God said to him gently,

“Is it right for you to be angry at the bush? You did nothing in your power to make this bush grow, but the bush gave you comfort. The bush grew at night and died during the night, without your doing. Do you think it is right for a god to be concerned with only one angry human being when there are so many others who need him, who never get angry with their god, but only show him reverence, gratitude and praise?

The man, his conscience suddenly awakened, became ashamed, thanked God for the lesson and made a vow, to God and himself, to become a good person and keep his feelings in check.

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