A man spoke with the Lord about heaven and hell. The Lord said to the man, “Come, I will show you hell.” They entered a room where a group of people sat around a huge pot of stew. Everyone was famished, desperate and starving. Each held a spoon that reached the pot, but each spoon had a handle so much longer than their own arm that it couldn’t be used to get the stew into their own mouths. The suffering was terrible.
“Come, now I will show you heaven,” the Lord said after a while. They entered another room, identical to the first — the pot of stew, the group of people, the same long-handled spoons. But everyone was happy and well-nourished.
“I don’t understand,” said the man. “Why are they happy here when they were miserable in the other room and everything was the same?”
The Lord smiled. “Ah, it is simple,” he said. “Here they have learned to feed each other.”