“The only currency worth a damn in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone.”

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN (as Cameron Crowe in ‘Almost Famous’)


In the book ‘The Forest of Wisdom’, which I wrote with my dear friend Francesc Miralles, you will find this old story that remind us to care about others, to share. It goes like:


An old legend says that the disciple asked his Venerable Master:

―What is the difference between Heaven and Hell?

And the Master replied:

―It is very small, even though it has major consequences. Come with me, I will show you Hell.

They then entered a room where a group of people were sitting around a large bowl of rice. All were hungry and desperate. Each of them held a spoon straight from its handle, that reached the pot, but the handle was so long that they could not take it back to their mouths. Their despair and suffering were terrible.

―Come over ―said the Master after a while―. Now I will show you Heaven.

They entered another room, which was identical to the previous. He recognized the rice bowl, the group of people, the same long spoons, but there everyone was happy and well fed.

―I do not understand ―said the disciple―. Why are they so happy here, while they are miserable in the other room, if everything seems to be the same?

―Have not you noticed? The Master smiled. As spoons have long handles and people cannot put the food into their mouths, here they have learnt to feed one another.


And so it is. No man is an island. All of us, to a greater or lesser extent need that helping hand to recognize and care for us. That emotional connection, which quality we are able to build in the encounter with the other, necessarily defines the quality of our existence. The answer to life’s misery, the solution to it, is more reachable than we imagine, just like the spoon of the story.


Hugs and kisses,



Alex Rovira