Make the right wish


Wish_List_(Magic_Lamp)If you could rub the Lamp of Aladdin and ask the genius to make one wish to come true, but only one, what would you choose? Love, success, fortune, health or what else? Are you sure you will be able to take the right decision with no regrets afterwards? I actually wouldn’t know what to pick, maybe health, however, I’m going to give you a couple of examples in literature to demonstrate that this is a question that has to be pondered carefully, before giving an answer, otherwise the consequences could be devastating.

cumaeSibyl of Cumae was a prophetess in service to Apollo and a renowned beauty. Apollo wished to take her as his lover and was ready to offer her anything she desired. Unfortunately she didn’t ponder on her answer and instinctively asked to defy death: she wanted to live forever. It was easy for Apollo to grant her wish, he was a powerful god after all, but still she refused to become his lover. Greek gods were usually of a revengeful kind, and Apollo’s revenge consisted in granting Sibyl’s wish anyway, as he knew that giving that answer she had doomed herself to misery. In fact the boon Sybil had chosen was one of a cruellest kind. She wouldn’t have died just like anybody else but she would have kept growing older and older and older.

imagesVC9Q2RUJShe lived for hundreds of years, each year becoming smaller and frailer. When Trimalchio speaks of her in the Satyricon, she is little more than a tourist attraction, tiny, ancient, confined:I saw with my own eyes the Sibyl at Cumae hanging in a cage, and when the boys said to her: “Sibyl, what do you want?” she answered: “I want to die.” This is the scene Eliot quotes at the beginning of the Waste Land. The Sybil had given the wrong answer. Immortality doesn’t actually mean eternal happiness because time keeps on reminding its presence painfully “wasting” our bodies. But, had she asked for eternal beauty?

imagesUR2ZX0G4The moment  Dorian Gray may see the picture that celebrates his remarkable beauty, suddenly realizes that his charm very soon will slip away. He will never be as attractive as the portrait which stands in front of him. That picture will keep on reminding his inevitable decay. There are no gods or devils here, but his intense wish of eternal beauty is granted, therefore magically Dorian will remain young while the portrait grows old and ugly in his place. Time won’t touch his features but it will still be able to “waste”  his soul. In fact the portrait, which stands for Dorian’s conscience, will record the consequences of a life of debauchery, and every sin or crime committed will result in the disfigurement of its form. Dorian won’t bear to look at the picture any longer and he will destroy it, thus killing his true self. Therefore neither eternal youth nor immortality are the key to happiness. Ergo, what could the right answer be?

193 thoughts on “Make the right wish

  1. Problably I would choose to possess the power of telekinesis because you can do everithing you want, for example to overcome the biggest obstacles with the minimum effort.

  2. Since I was a kid ,Aladdin has always been my favourite Disney movie and I have always wondered why, If he could not ask for an unlimited amount of wishes ,he did not ask for more geniuses .
    However If it was not an option I would choose immortality ,because in an immortal life you don’t have to care about health problems and you can achieve ,sooner or later ,money and success .
    Basically through immortality you can have or at least try to have whatever you desire .

  3. If could I have a wish I would ask for happiness, because isn’ t it the goal of asking for a wish?
    In my opinion in fact being happy is the only way to live well and it would be really handy to obtain felicity so easily.

  4. Regardless the convenience of having a wish fulfilled just asking it is opinable the idea of totally entrusting your-self to a supernatural force able to control your destiny. Moreover I like the idea that I don’t need a lamp to obtain what i want from life.

  5. So many times I asked myself what my mish would be if I had the chance to make it. It’s hard to find the right answer, needs change as we grow up, and so do wishes. Choosing between love, success, money, health, or even immortality it is basically impossible, and as soon as we will get one of them, we will feel like we miss something else.
    Moreover, getting what I want without effort doesn’t make me feel satisfied. I cannot appreciate something that I didn’t fight for, (perhaps it works just for me).
    “Choose Happiness” you could say, but how could I be always happy without experiencing sadness?
    My worst fear is to die alone and unloved, I’ve experienced loneliness and it makes me weak.
    My family, few friends are what truly makes me happy. If I could make I wish, I would choose to be always surrounded by people I love and that love me back.

  6. Actually, I have never imagined which wish I would ask if I had one, as I have always been quite a realistic person, who has never liked having false hopes. For this reason, I am not sure about which desire I would ask, as I know that no one will make it true. However, I would probably choose something that may seem strange, something not personal with no negative implications in the future. I wish everyone could learn to respect others: we live in a society that is going crazy and people do not care anymore about who surrounds them. We have completely lost our sense of community and mutual help, which were strong in the past, and now our minds are set on ourselves. I do not want to analyse why it happened, because there are many factors, but I am sure that if this desire could be satisfied, maybe in an idealistic world that, unfortunately, cannot exist, we would live happier and more relaxed, without all that stress and hate that are destroying our lives.

  7. If I could pick just one desire, it wouldn’t be a life of mere happiness: eventually I would take it for granted and I wouldn’t be excited, thrilled, surprised about anything anymore; unfortunately, we need pain to distinguish and enhance pleasure. Wishes like the capability of flying, time traveling or being forever young are as attracting and tempting as very dangerous and risky, and I don’t think they are worth the peril.
    So I thought, when we are little we have free time and leisure, we are thoughtless and carefree but we aren’t able to appreciate it, because we don’t know what studying, working, having problems and concerns mean. Teenagers instead live a life of uncertainties and insecurities, even though they could run the world, and most of the adults would like to be one of them. The reality is that every age has negative and positive aspects, but it seems like we can’t understand the latter. So what if we could really enjoy and appreciate the life that we are actually living? That would be great. Maybe we don’t even need a magic lamp to accomplish it: it may sounds ordinary but I really think that we just have to emphasize and value all the little precious things, and never take them for granted.

  8. In my opinion, everything in life can be achieved by willpower. If I could have a chance to make a wish I would ask to be a little taller, which is the only thing I can’t achieve with it. In fact, my stature has always influenced all the sports I’ve done, even though I did my best every day to achieve my goals.

  9. I would probably choose the ability to modify matter at the atomic level, which wuold create a lot of different possibilities.

  10. Honestly the idea of getting something as a miracle doesn’t seem real and authentic. Howewer I would choose something that is really important like being healthy.

  11. I think that this is the one million dollar question because I do not really know what to choose. I believe that I would choose love , so my family and my friends because if you have them you will be for ever happy. But money would not be bad…

  12. I would probably choose to travel around the world( and more if possible) with the people i love whenever I want without thinking of economics problems

  13. If i could rob the lamp of Aladdin probably wishes like immortality,eternal beauty or time travel aren’t a good idea. Also i’d reather to archieve things like fame, money ,success and happiness by myself. So i will ask for three wishes (because i have three and i can’t decide) .First of all i would choose health and a little of extra time for the people i love( family,friends) because i don’t want to see them suffer and time is never enough. The second one is to see the future ,not mine, but the future of the humanity, of the universe for example what will happen in 3000 d.C. because i cant handle the fact that i will not hable to see it. The third one is a little stupid but i know is the dream of everybody : to eat whatever i want without getting fat.

  14. Veronica Blasi 5.A
    That’s actually a difficult question…
    If i could ask the genius to make one wish to come true, I will pick maybe health or money.
    I don’t know if it is a good choice… considering that life is ever changing. I would prefer to live as it comes without planning too much of it, because I might regret asking something rather than something else.
    If I chose money I could do anything and also can be generous with others. If I chose health I could live with no limits and able to work a lot without consequences and so doing I could enjoy my life.
    I am not interested in success, I don’t think it is a priority, I would rather choose love considering that we cannot trust human love. Human love is not forever… Maybe the genius would help the wish of being love for ever by the same person but honestly I will be sick of it.
    Prof. Scusi ma avevo capito di fare un testo cartaceo.

  15. After a long reflexion, I come up with the conclusion that nothing could be desired, because everything depends on us. If you want to become rich, find a profitable job and economize; if you want a healty life just make it happen, changing your diet and your lifestile. It’s easy to complain about something you don’t have, without even trying.
    But if I have to believe that there is something, in this universe, that doesn’t listen to any rational laws, and you can’t control, I would desire to have fortune.
    Otherwise I would be happy to be able to fly.

  16. I think that my desire would be to have the ability to have what I want through words, in the workplace, at school or even, why not, in love. It would be fantastic to be able to have a high rating or a promotion by convincing a superior through a chat, it would be useful in many situations, probably even in court (hoping never to be in there). Maybe it might seem like a trivial thing that some people already have without the help of the Lamp of Aladdin, but it is impossible that it always works. Having a 100% success rate would make life would be much simpler, someone will think it is boring to have what you want without a minimum of challenge, however I do not think this way, in fact the time used to try and fail can be used in more efficient ways. Something that saves us time in our lives can be cosidered the most precious thing.

  17. Personally I don’t think there is a universally right answer.
    In reality I had never thought about what desire I would have chosen if I had found myself in such a situation and I must admit that I didn’t think it was so difficult to choose.
    But I think if I had only one wish I could ask the genius of the lamp I would choose to be successful in everything I do, but success not intended as fame, but as succeeding in everything, a bit like the effect of the potion of Harry Potter “Felix Felicis”, but without compromising the happiness of others.

  18. To have one of our wishes granted, what a wonderful and terrifying thing. Some would say that they’re too rational to believe in such fairy tales, others that they couldn’t enjoy things they didn’t work for… Nonsense! We all have dreams and hopes we fancy about, and to obtain one out of the many in such a easy and fast way, it’s just too tempting. I may sound silly, or trivial, but I do see the charm in immortality, a never-ending youth of health and possibilities. Time is the one thing we cannot control, we dispose of such a limited amount in this limitless world. Watching empires raising and falling, experiencing moments that go beyond our wildes imagination, seeing cultures developing, art, music, science…. and so much more awaits ahead of immortality. Just the thrill of defying time itself, it’s far above love, money, success and other petty desires. To find meanging in our “immortal life” it’s up to us, we must give it the meaning and live according to it, whether it is happiness or something else. Rejecting this opportunity for fear of loss, pain and sorrow, I think it’s a bit cowardly and contradictory: by renouncing all the infinite joys and beauties of an eternal life because of sadness and grief, it’s the same as giving up on life itself, long or short it be.

  19. Surely the chance too see done any wish, it would put anyone in trouble. One wish, that could solve any problems, make your life better, make you richer, more powerful or, why not, immortal. However, a similar chance can be dangerous in the wrong hands, wishing things that would endanger other people. They are so much the consequences that made a similar power in a human: realize a wish. It is so easy be moral on an argument, but personally i don’t think that i would wish something that could make me superior or something similar. If I really had the possibility to achieve a desire, I would obtein the job that I aspire from much time. surely it isn’t the work of dreams, but I would be indipendent and I could start a life depended from my decisions, much better to solve a life with only one wish.

  20. I agree that it is rather difficult to choose a single wish that can be satisfied and, honestly, I have never really thought about which to express, probably because it will never happen. But if a magical genius suddenly appeared in front of me with such a proposal, I suppose I should think about something. So, after thinking about it a lot, I will express the desire that would make me successful in my dream job: the director. I perfectly know that it’s not impossible even without expressing it, but the certainty of this will make me more confident. Because this is what I think, everyone has desires of all kinds, but people will express the only desire that will give them more certainties, because I think people want to feel safe in their lives and this is perhaps their true desire

  21. I really don’t know what could be the key for happiness there are so many things! But if I would have just one wish I’dprobably choose to be satisfied of what I did in my life and of what i obtained. In this moment I’m very confused on what to choose for my future and everything so I would like to be happy about what I’ve done in my life, regardless of what I will decide, without having regrets when I look back.

  22. It’s hard to find something that improves your entire life when you’re 18, so if I could ask something it wouldn’t be a particular request. When I was 8 years old I heard a song that changed my life and in its lyric it said “be proud of who you are”. It might seem banal, but I think it is a meaningful sentence so if I only had one wish I would ask to be proud of myself everyday of my life because it would mean that I have decided to be the best part of me.

  23. Having the possibility that a dream will come true, I would like to know the truth. In my opinion, knowing the truth would solve many problems. For example, we could know how much truth there is in the speeches of the politicians, or what pur friends or our boss rally think. With my desire I don’t want to read in people’s minds, but I want everyone to tell the truth “spontaneously”. In my opinion it colud be useful and also be fun.

  24. I hardly believe in life. I could seem fatalistic for what I’m going to say, but I hope you won’t think that about me.
    Every time something happens to me, I cannot but admit its importance, justice, truth, maybe.
    In terrible facts (like in the others), I can’t find a reason good enough, making me say “it wasn’t to be”.
    And I’m not imperturbable, you’ll know, I profoundly feel people. I believe in this world’s power, in those people who fight for their hopes, desires, so I can’t imagine a better thing than our humanity fighting against itself and all the obstacles that the Universe puts in front of it.
    When something doesn’t get a successful end, it becomes a new “lounching pad”. It could make you cry, get you angry, paralyse you; however, despite all the tears I could cry, I would never ask for something with the hope it would make my existence simpler, because it wouldn’t make it happier. Our happiness stays in humanity, which is made of ups and downs. I think almost each wish we could choose would be an attempt to build a “roller coaster” that never comes down, with the only result of a way where you neither cry, nor laugh.
    In the end, I’d choose Love, because it is the most human thing I know: a powerful motor, for the incredibile trips that our lives are.

  25. I thought a long on what could be my wish. At the beginning the first things that came to my mind were the richness, happiness or always be lucky etc, but on a second thought I tried to look in my daily and I found a thing that could really change my life. I would wish to remove completely any type of anxiety from my life. As it may seem so stupid and banal I know the “weight” and it’s importance in my life.
    I have the certainty that if I removed it totally from my life I would approach the problems in a different way or I didn’t “create” them also they weren’t. Basically I would live in a better way.

  26. many people lose years of their lives for bad decisions, if I had to make a wish it would always be the right choice

  27. If one day such a possibility were presented to me I would certainly ask to have the ability to travel through time. First of all because it has always been something that has intrigued me since I was a child and also because traveling through time gives you the opportunity to do anything you want or remedy everything you think is wrong with your past. This “power” would therefore allow me to remedy all my mistakes from the past, but also to avoid making wrong decisions or doing equally wrong actions, because if I did them I could still go back to the past and change them.

  28. I’m an undecided person, I actually would have to think a lot before making a wish, an important one. I normally would ask for a superpower or money, but I think there are things that can make me happier. I wouldn’t even make an egoist wish, because if I had the chance, I would like to make smile as many people as I can. If the wish is for me only, maybe I would wish more charisma.

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