Rest In Peace

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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One night, Jack was taking a shortcut home through the cemetery, when he heard a tapping sound over to his left. The cemetery was in almost total darkness, and as the tapping sound became more insistent, Jack began to feel a little afraid. Steeling his nerves, he moved forward as quickly as he could along the path between the graves, but as he moved forward, the tapping sound got louder and louder until he was almost scared to death. Suddenly, as he turned a corner and started to head for the main gate, he noticed a man over on his left, chiselling intently at a tombstone.
“Oh, thank goodness!” cried Jack out loud. “The sound of your chiselling was giving me the fright of my life! Why are you working so late?”
“They spelt my name wrongly,” came the chilling reply.


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The professor and the student

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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One day a young man bumped into an older man as he was walking down the street.
“Do you remember me?” asked the young man.
“I’m afraid I don’t,” replied the old man after looking at him carefully.
“I was one of your students a long time ago,” said the young man.
“Ah!” exclaimed the old man. “And what do you do now?”
“Well, I became a teacher in the end,” replied the young man.
“Like me,” said the old man with a big smile.
“That’s right,” said the young man. “Actually, it was you who inspired me to become a teacher.”

At these words, the old man became curious and asked the young man what exactly had inspired him. The young man looked down at his feet for a moment and then told his story.

“One day, one of my classmates came to school with a really nice new watch and I convinced myself that I deserved it more than he did. So, when he went out onto the sports field to play football that afternoon, I went into the changing rooms and stole the watch from his bag. My classmate soon realised that his watch was missing and complained to our teacher, who was you. Your reaction was immediate. You addressed the entire class saying, ‘This student’s watch was stolen during sports this afternoon. Would whoever stole it please return it at once.’

“I kept quiet and said nothing. I had no intention of giving back the watch.

“At this point you closed the door and told us all to stand up and form a circle. You were going to search our pockets one by one until the watch was found. But you also told us to close our eyes because you would only look for the watch if we all had our eyes closed.

“Obviously we did as you instructed and closed our eyes.

“You then went from boy to boy searching in every pocket. But when you came to me and searched my pockets and found the watch, you didn’t stop. You carried on until you had searched the pockets of every boy in the classroom and then you said, ‘All right boys, you can open your eyes now. We have the watch.’

“You never said who had stolen the watch, you never punished me and you never even took me to one side to give me a moral lesson. In fact, you never mentioned the episode again. That day you saved my dignity forever. It was the most shameful day of my life. But it was also the day that I decided that stealing from other people was not for me. I had received your message very clearly. Thanks to you I understood what a real educator needs to do.

“Do you remember that episode, professor?”

“Yes, I remember that incident very well,” replied the old professor, “but I didn’t know that it was you who had stolen the watch because I also kept my eyes shut while I was searching.”


This is the essence of teaching:
if to correct you must humiliate,
then you don’t really know how to teach.

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The theory of intelligence

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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“Well, you see Bob, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. Consequently, when the herd is hunted, the slowest and weakest ones at the back are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole because the speed and health of the group keeps improving thanks to the elimination of the weakest members.

In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Now, as we know, an excessive intake of alcohol kills our brain cells. But, as with the buffalo, it is the slowest and weakest brain cells that get attacked first. The result is that regular consumption of alcohol eliminates the weaker brain cells thereby making the brain a faster and more efficient machine.

“And that, Bob, is why you always feel more intelligent after a few glasses of wine.”

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The priest and the bus driver

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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One day a priest and a bus driver died at more or less the same time. Convinced that they had both led good lives, they set off together on their journey towards the pearly gates of heaven.
As they were approaching the gates, Saint Peter appeared by their side and informed them that while there was no problem about the bus driver going to heaven, the priest would have to turn around and make his way down to hell.
“Why do I have to go to hell when the bus driver can go to heaven?” asked the priest, totally bewildered. “I’ve devoted my entire life to God!”
“It’s very simple,” replied Saint Peter. “Whenever you started reading the bible in church, everyone fell asleep, but whenever he was driving the bus, everyone started praying.”

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The juggler

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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An Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian and a German were all standing ouside a bar in Covent Garden drinking beer and watching a street performer do some really classy juggling. At a certain point, the juggler noticed that the four gentlemen had a very poor view of his performance, so he stood up on a large wooden box and called out, “Can you all see me now?”

“Yes.”
“Oui.”
“Si.”
“Ja.”

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To be or not to be?

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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One evening a horse walked into a bar and ordered a glass of wine. After quite a few glasses of wine, the horse stood up and left the bar. This went on for several weeks. Eventually, one evening, the barman turned to the horse and said, “You come in here almost every evening and drink quite a lot of wine. Do you think you might be an alcoholic?”
“I don’t think I am,” replied the horse, and vanished from existence.

You need to understand that this story is about Descartes’ famous philosophy, ‘I think, therefore I am‘, but to explain this before telling the story would be putting Descartes before the horse.

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The hitchhiker

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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I was driving across the country a couple of weeks ago and was just about to join the motorway when I noticed a hitchhiker by the side of the road.
I don’t usually pick up hitchhikers, but it was really hot and it was Friday and I was in a good mood, so I stopped and let him get in.
After the usual small talk followed by a long silence, he suddenly turned towards me and asked me if I wasn’t afraid that he might be a serial killer.
I told him that it was extremely unlikely to find two serial killers in the same car.

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The young artist and the art critic

Piccole letture in chiave umoristica e/o filosofica

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A young artist was exhibiting his work for the first time in quite an important art gallery. Wandering around the gallery was a well-known art critic, famous for his bluntness. At a certain point, the art critic walked up to the young artist and put a hand on his shoulder.
“Would you like to hear my opinion of your work?” he asked.
“Yes, of course,” replied the artist, pleasantly surprised.
“It’s worthless,” the critic exclaimed.
“Oh, I know,” replied the artist, “but let’s hear it anyway.”

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