One night Abu Said and his disciples walked by the waste-dump where cleaners hauled bags of filth from the latrines.
"The stench is suffocating!" the disciples said. "We should run away from here as fast as we can."
"No!" said Abu Said. "Stand here for a moment and listen."
"Listen to what?"
"Listen to what the bags are saying: We were once delicious food! We were ripe fruits and rich stews! But look at us now: you've ruined us! We should be escaping from you, but instead you want to escape from us. Just listen; that's what the bags say."
Inspired by: Under the Sufi's Cloak: Stories of Abu Said and His Mystical Teaching by Mohammad Ali Jamnia and Mojdeh Bayat
Notes: This story is on p. 110 of the book. You can find out more about Abu Said at Wikipedia. Compare Ramakrishna's parable about the man and the turd.