It is hard to believe now, but many once
shunned potatoes. When first introduced
England by Sir Walter Raleigh, newspapers
printed editorials against it, clerics
sermons against it, and the general
would not touch it. It was supposed
the soil in which it had been planted
cause all manner of strange illnesses,
death. It was years before all the
publicity was overcome and the potato
Here are two stories about potatoes… All
the farmers knew that the cooperative paid
top dollars if they brought the potatoes
already sorted - small, medium, large. And
so they took great pains to categorize them
before delivering. However they noticed that
this farmer always took the potatoes right
out of the ground and hauled them directly
to town. He did not sort them and yet he
got maximum dollars. ??
When they complained with the manager, his
answer surprised them: "No, friends,
you are wrong. He always has his potatoes
sorted out." "But when does he
do it?" they asked. "Well, he has
a very simple trick… While you all take the
good nice road to town, he always takes the
road with all the holes and bumps! Big potatoes
always rise to the top on a rough road."??
I suppose in life it is the same. Going through
bumps in life can sort us out!
Here is another potato story. All of us have
problems in relationships. We like some people
and we dislike others. Some we dislike a
little, some we dislike a lot. Knowing that
this can poison interactions in life, this
teacher wanted to teach an object lesson
to her kindergarten students. She asked each
child of the class to bring along a plastic
bag containing a few potatoes. Then she asked
them to write the name of the person they
detest on each potato. So the number of potatoes
that a child will put in his plastic bag
depended on the number of people he dislikes.
Some had two potatoes, some three while some
up to five potatoes.
The 'game' was very simple. The kids were
asked to carry the potatoes in the plastic
bag wherever they went. And this for one
whole week. No problem for the first couple
of days, except that the one who had five
potatoes was plodding along a heavier weight.
However after the first days, the potatoes
started rotting, sending a very unpleasant
smell. The stench became unbearable, and
so all the children were relieved when the
'game' finally ended.
Now came the application! The teacher asked:
"How did you feel while carrying the
potatoes with you for one week?" The
children let out their frustrations and started
complaining of the trouble they had to go
through, having to carry the heavy and smelly
potatoes wherever they went.
The teacher explained. "This is exactly
your condition when you carry a loathing
for someone inside your heart. It is a terrible
burden and besides, the stench of such animosity
will contaminate you and this carries through
your whole day wherever you go."
"I've learned that when you have an
argument with your spouse, the first one
who says, 'I'm sorry I hurt your feelings;
please forgive me,' is the winner."
A smack of practicality, no?
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
state, if this copyright notice is