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?

174 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.

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