A wealthy man complained aloud and wished the same thing every night: “I am the most unhappy man on the earth and I would like to live a different life, an easier life.”
One night in a dream he heard a voice that told him: “Gather all of your miseries into a bag and bring them to the town hall.”
When he got to the town hall, the rich man saw that all of his neighbors had also packed their miseries into big bags. He saw that some people were carrying much bigger bags than his, some tattered and torn, and some so heavy it appeared they were filled with rocks. Even people he had always seen smiling at community events and saying nice things were carrying bigger bags.
Inside the hall, the unseen voice said, “Lay your bags down.” Everyone put their bags down, and the voice said, “Now you can choose any bundle that you like,” but everybody rushed to their own bags.
The wealthy man also rushed towards his own bag, afraid that somebody else might choose it now that he saw how much smaller it was.
He walked home thinking, “Who knows what is in the other bags? I have the power to change my lot and my lot alone.”
That night, instead of wishing for an easier life, he realized how easy his life was and wished that someone else might have an easier time as well.