I’m not much of a fan of anecdotes (most of the time, any ‘lesson’ which is supposed to be derived from anecdotal evidence is mostly fallacious), but I’ll make an exception in this case.
Heard over dinner from future monk, Adrian Lim.
One day, there was a man who died in a car accident, and naturally, entered the afterlife. Upon reaching the afterlife, he met the Gatekeeper, who told him that he could choose whichever place he would like to spend the rest of eternity in- Heaven or Hell.
The man was inclined to immediately say, “Take me to Heaven”, but thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at both places before making a choice. The Gatekeeper gladly agreed.
“Let’s go to Hell first,” said the Gatekeeper, and they both appear within a huge ballroom, where there were rows and rows of ornately decorated tables with well-dressed men in suits lining the tables at the sides. The most exquisite and delicious food was laid on the table, but curiously enough, no one was eating. Upon closer inspection, the man noticed that each person had a stick bound to each arm, and was hence was unable to eat anything that was on the table, however delicious it was; for they could not bend their own arms. Their faces clearly displayed frustration and unhappiness.
“This is what Hell looks like,” said the Gatekeeper. “Let’s go to Heaven now.”
Surprisingly, the man and the Gatekeeper appeared in a similar ballroom, with equally ornate tables and similarly delicious food. However, a distinct difference between the current ballroom and the previous one was that this one was filled with laughter, whereas the previous one wasn’t. The man was extremely curious, and looked more closely at the people who sat along the tables. Just like the people in Hell, they all had sticks tightly bound to their arms, and were unable to bend their arms in any way. So why were they all laughing merrily?
Because they were feeding each other.