Editorials by Robert Kirwan
Difference Between Heaven and Hell…
are a lot of things I like about my life right now. I could spend the
entire editorial discussing my family, my career and how I have enjoyed
living in Val Therese for the past 32 years. But other than things to do
with my family, the thing I like best about my life is the fact that
through all of my work and personal interactions with the various parts of
the community, I get to meet so many wonderful people who are devoted to
improving the quality of life for others in need.
For example, the other
day I met with Marcel Servais, who many will recognize as a pillar of the
community in so many ways. He explained to me how the Valley East Lions
Club will be organizing the First Annual Charity Days in September.
goal is to work with as many of the local charities as possible to help
them raise some money for their organization," explained Marcel, who
is the Chair of the Charity Days Committee. "Each of our activities
will be dedicated to a different charity and all of the money raised from
that event will be donated to the charity."
"We are really excited about this format. It will involve every
section of the community, including charities, churches and schools. Each
group will help in whatever way they can, but the members of the Lions
Club will be doing the "lion's share" of the work.”
When Marcel was going
over the different things that will be taking place that weekend, my mind
drifted to a story I once heard about a rabbi who was visited by an angel.
The rabbi asked the angel to explain the difference between heaven and
He was then taken to a
place and stood before two doors.
The angel said, “I am
going to show you hell”.
The angel opened the
door and the two of them entered a room. Sitting at a round table were
people that looked terrible. They were literally skin over bones.
In the middle of the table was a pot of the most delicious stew.
Each person had a spoon attached to his hand, but he had no elbows and
could not feed himself. Starvation
was clearly visible. The sight was horrible to behold. Try as they may
they could not get the spoon to their mouth to take a bite because their
arm could not bend.
Closing the door the
angel said, “I will now show you heaven”.
Opening another door,
the rabbi saw the same table, the same wonderful stew; the individuals
each had a spoon, but no elbows. However, the individuals around the table
were healthy, happy and not suffering starvation as the others were in the
room marked hell.
The rabbi looked
puzzled and asked the angel what was the difference. “My dear man the
people you see in front of you now are happy and healthy because they have
learned to feed each other,” said the angel.
passionately went on describing his vision of the Charity Days and as we
brought up how much the Lions mean to this community, I continued to
recall the image of heaven and hell as explained by the angel in the
story. It made me so grateful to be part of a community like
. A place where organizations like the Lions Club, the Knights of Columbus
clubs, LE CENTRE CLUB AGE d'OR DE LA VALLEE, the Kin Club, the Food Banks,
the Churches, the schools, and the many other service groups and clubs of
the community are like the people in the room marked heaven who were
sitting around the table, healthy and happy because they have learned to
“feed each other”.
It is so easy to be our
own worst enemy and make our lives a living hell with selfish motives. The
people who are selfish and self-centered can never truly enjoy themselves.
They are like the people sitting at the table, all of the food within
reach, but because they have no elbows, there is no way of getting the
food to their mouth. This is their hell on earth and they will eventually
starve emotionally and spiritually.
Whenever someone asks
me what is so good about living in
, I know I can simply tell them the story about the rabbi and the angel. I
know I can list the groups and organizations which have learned to “feed
each other”. And I know this must be heaven.