Once Dante met Virgil

Dante Alighieri was walking in the woods in the evening when he met the greatest of all the poets: Virgil, who told him that he would reveal to him all the secrets of Heaven and Hell. Virgil accompanied Dante by boat on the waters of the Styx, the river that surrounds Hell.

Once landed, Dante did not notice differences with the wood they had just left on the other side of the river: Hell was not made of fire and sulfur, nor was it infested with winged demons and fiery-breathed monsters. Instead, approaching a barrier of rocks and shrubs, a delicious scent of stew spread through the air. However, screams and a noticeable grinding of teeth were heard.

Beyond that barrier, an unusual sight presented itself to the two poets. There was a vast clearing full of huge round tables. At the center of each table was an immense stew dish from which came the inviting scent that permeated the air. Around the tables were the damned, hungry and exhausted, each of whom was holding a large spoon with a very long handle to get to the meat, since the diameter of the tables was too large for them to reach the meat with their hands or with normal length cutlery. However, if all the damned were able to load the food with the spoon, the same length of the handle of the cutlery that had helped them to take it prevented them from approaching it to the mouth. Needless to say, frequent fights broke out among those mean men because of the enormous frustration of not being able to eat. Dante then asked Virgil to take him away from that scene so upsetting for him.

The two poets returned to the boat and Virgil indicated to Dante to row in the direction of Paradise. When they arrived, Dante realized that they were in a place not very different from what they had just left.

Here too there was an inviting smell of stew. The large round tables, the serving dishes in the center of each table and always those long spoons that were used by those blessed men to collect food. The only difference with Hell was that there were no fights here and they all laughed and sang blissfully, but the noteworthy detail was that in Paradise people used long-handled spoons to feed each other.

Although we can draw many morals from this parable, in fact, we talk about how a group of people has been able to transform a resource for their own benefit by expanding its use. It shows that to achieve a given result what matters is not so much the resources you have, but how to use them. Understanding or not understanding it can transform our life into Heaven or into Hell.

Published by Artserione

Autore del sito e delle opere in mostra

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