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Parables and Illustrations for Values Education
There is a fairy tale of a Mandarin who, while he was on his way to paradise, asked before to visit hell. As it was a very good man, they decided to indulge his desire and took him to the abode of the damned. It was a huge room prepared tables in which being, perfuming the atmosphere, huge full of delicious rice dishes. Around the table sat many people, each with his wand of bamboo to carry the rice to the mouth. Each wand measured as two meters long and had to be seized by one end. As much as striving and trying it, Diners failed to take even a single grain of rice to their mouths. Everything was all the rage, anger, despair.
Touched by this show of fasting in abundance, Mandarin continued their way to the abode of the blessed and was surprised that paradise was identical to hell: a large room with tables prepared, huge dishes with rice steaming, to be eaten with two meters long bamboo sticks, seized at one end.
The only difference was that each diner, instead of eating, was eating at the diner across the street. So everyone enjoyed the food and friendship.
Some theologians say that hell is in absolute solitude, the inability to love and serve others. Selfishness divides and separates. Solidarity and service together. Where there is solidarity, there is joy. Generous people, are happy. The selfish live enclosed in themselves, dissatisfied. Overwhelms everyone a great joy when we help others, when we feel useful, when we do good. However, locked in our selfishness, often we strive to walk the paths of our misfortune.
We make our living rooms in places of cooperative work, support, service. And true joy, which comes of fulfilled duty, charity work, the gift to others will shine in them. Remember the verses of R. Tagore:
I slept and dreamed
that life was joy. I woke up
and I saw that life was service. I served
and I saw that the service was joy.