Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
From the wisdom of the desert
Once a youngster, after arriving at an oasis from the desert of Judea, met elder Elisha and asked him:
”What kind of people live in this place, gheronda?”
”What kind of people were living in the place you came from, my son?” the starets asked him.
”They were selfish and bad”, the youngster answered. ”I am glad that I left them.”
”Here you’ll find right the same kind of people, my son”, the old man answered meaningfully.
On the same day, another youngster came to the oasis to drink some water and he asked elder Elisha: ”Gheronda, what kind of people are living here?”
The starets asked him the same question: ”What kind of people were living in the place you came from, my son?”
”Some friendly, peaceful, kind and hospitable people.” ”I am very sad that I had to leave them.”
”Here you’ll find the same kind of people”, elder Elisha answered.
His little grandson, who heard these conversations, asked him when they remained alone: ”Grandpa, why did you give them different answers for the same question?”
”Listen, my boy!” ”Every man bears in his heart the environment where he lives.” ”The one who did not find anything good in the place where he lives, won’t find anything good here either.” ”And the other one who found good people everywhere, will find them here as well.” ”And this because our state of mind is the only thing from our life we can control completely.” ”Don’t ever forget this when you grow up!”