How do you deal with negative feelings towards others? Do you hate them from behind closed doors? Do you let your ill feelings be known? Have you confronted the people that you don’t like and tried to work it out? Dealing with these feelings can be challenging, especially if you have to see the person every day. Teaching children how to handle their feelings of dislike or resentment can be difficult, especially since children are more prone to acting out immediately before thinking things through. One teacher decided to give the children a hands-on approach to dealing with their feelings…and it followed them ever since!
A teacher asked her students to bring some tomatoes in a plastic bag to school. Each tomato will be given a name of the person whom that child hates. Like this, the number of tomatoes will be equal to the number of persons they hate.
On a decided day, the children brought their tomatoes well addressed. Some had two, some had three and some had even five tomatoes .
The teacher said that they would have to carry the tomatoes with them everywhere they go for a week.
As the days passed, the children started to complain about the spoiled smell of tomatoes. The students who had many tomatoes complained that it was very heavy to carry.
The teacher asked them, “How did you feel this past one week?”
The children complained of the smell and the heavy weight of the rotting tomatoes.
The teacher then said, “This is very similar to what you carry in your heart when you don’t like some people. Hatred makes your heart unhealthy and you carry that hatred everywhere. If you can’t bear the smell of spoiled tomatoes for a week, imagine what your heart must be going through?”
Your heart is a beautiful garden that needs regular cleaning of unwanted weeds.
I think this is a beautiful lesson that everyone can learn from! Carrying hatred in your heart can feel like lugging around rotting tomatoes at times. It’s hard to let the anger and resentment go when someone has really wronged us…but sometimes, it’s even more difficult to carry that resentment with us every single day. Learning how to let go of anger is one of the most important lessons we will ever learn, and it’s one that these kids will hopefully never forget!
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