We granted a girl who had worked all her life to originate good one wish, “Before I die, let me visit both hell and heaven.” Her wish was granted.
I whisked her off to a good banqueting hall. I piled the tables high with delicious food and drink. Round the tables sat miserable, starving people, as wretched as may well be.
“Why are they like this?” she asked the angel who accompanied her.
“Look at their arms,” the angel replied.
She looked and saw that attached to the people’s arms were long chopsticks secured above the elbow. Unable to bend their elbows, the people aimed the chopsticks at the food, missed when, and sat hungry, frustrated, and miserable.
“Indeed, this is often hell! Take me aloof from here!”
Someone then whisked her off to heaven. Again she found herself in an exceedingly great banqueting hall with tables piled high. Round the tables sat people laughing, contented, joyful.
“No chopsticks, I suppose,” she said.
“Oh yes, there are. Look, even as in hell they’re long and attached above the elbow but look, here people have learned to feed one another.”
Conquering The World
There once lived a powerful king who undertook an expedition to overcome foreign lands. His wise counselor asked him, “Great king, to what purpose does one come into being on this endeavor?” “To become master of Asia,” the king replied. “And then what?” asked the counselor. “I shall invade Arabia”, said the king. “And after that?” “I shall conquer Europe and Africa; and at last, when the complete world is under me, I shall rest and live comfortably.” To this, the wise counselor retorted, “But what keeps you from resting and living comfy here and now, if that’s all you want? You may calm down this very day without the difficulty and risks.”
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