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Le Candele

An Unforgettable Life Lesson

In the early 60’s the only way I could continue the pursuit of my love for learning after elementary school was to travel by bus from Salice, my village, to the Scuola Media Luigi Pirandello in Messina. I simply loved the idea of carrying books in my hands and my mom had to convince my father to send me to school instead of going to work to earn a living. It wasn’t easy and I had to plug in doing homework seven days a week to keep up with the pace of the class. One night, there was an electrical power outage in my village (it happened often) and I couldn’t do my homework. I was certain that my teacher, whom I adored, would have had sympathy from my predicament. When I broke the news to her, she simply said, “Non vendono candele al tuo paese?” “Don’t they sell candles in your village?” I was dumbfounded. Didn’t the teacher care about me? I realized and, presently keep pondering on an important life lesson: If I really cared and I really wanted, I could have found a way to do my homework.


There was no punishment, just the consequence of reflecting on my teachers’ words.

Morale of the story: no excuses, just get the job done!

'Dolce Vita' vs Getting the Job Done!

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