The parable of the long spoons

A very old man knew that he was going to die very soon. Before he died he wanted to know what heaven and hell were like, so he visited the wise man in his village.

“Can you please tell me what heaven and hell are like?” he asked the wise man.

“Come with me and I will show you”, the wise man replied.

The two men walked down a long path until they came to a large house. The wise man took the old man inside, and there they found a large dining room with an enormous table covered with every kind of food imaginable. Around the table were many people, all thin and hungry, who were holding twelve-foot chopsticks. Every time they tried to feed themselves the food fell off the chopsticks.

The old man said to the wise man, “Surely this must be hell. Will you now show me heaven?”

The wise man said, “Yes, come with me.”

The two men left the house and walked farther down the path until they reached another large house. Again they found a large dining room and in it a table filled with all kinds of food. The people here were happy and appeared well-fed, but they also held twelve-foot chopsticks.

“How can this be?” said the old man. “These people have twelve-foot chopsticks and yet they are happy and well-fed.

The wise man replied, “In heaven, the people feed each other.”