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'' Live a life rich in emotions '' - Umberto Eco Tips that will make you reflect


World-renowned writer Umberto Eco bequeathed to his nephew before his death some letters of advice; which even today are valid not only for the generation born in the viett 1990 or 2000, but for all generations. Letters with the stamp of the omnipresent and universal that remind us how beautiful life is outside the doors of the house or the screen of the television and computer; a real life blazing with emotions coming from human relationships.

"Dear grandson, I would not like this Christmas letter to sound too sugary and to remind you of tips for love of our relatives, for the homeland, for the world, or similar things. They will not listen to you and at the moment of putting it into practice (you are an adult and I am old), the value system will be so changed that my recommendations may seem out of time.

So I would prefer to dwell on a single recommendation, which you will be able to implement even now, while immersed in your iPad; but neither will I make the mistake of not advising this, not for the fact that I would look a forgetful and nopran grandfather, but because I do.

Most of all I can recommend that if you happen to go through those hundreds of pornographic sites on the internet that show in thousands of ways the relationship between two human beings, or between a human being and an animal, try not to believe that he is sex, even thus displayed very monotonously; this is because it is a staging, which aims to force you not to leave the house and see the real girls.

I start from the principle that you are heterosexual, otherwise adapt my recommendations to your case. But look at the girls, at school or where she goes to play, because those truths are better than the women on TV; and one day they will give you much greater pleasure than online ones.

Trust someone who has more experience than you (and if I had only seen sex on the computer, your father would never have been born and you who knows where you would be, on the contrary you would not be at all). But this is not what I wanted to talk to you about, rather than a disease that has struck your generation and even that of boys older than you who are probably going to university.

This is memory loss. It is true that if it occurs to you to know who Charlemagne was or where Kuala Lumpur falls you only need to press any key and immediately the internet will tell you.

Do this when you should, but after you have done it, try to remember what you were told so as not to have to ask for it a second time if it will be necessary, even for a homework assignment. There is a risk that while you think the computer can tell you at any moment, you lose the taste of learning yourself.

It would be as if, knowing that to go from one street to another, there is a bus or subway that allows you to move around tirelessly (which in itself is very comfortable and do whenever you are in a hurry) you think that this way you no longer have need to walk. But if you do not walk enough, then you become "capable of alienation", as it is said today for those who are forced to move in a wheelchair.

Okay, I know you do sports and so set your body in motion, but let’s get back to your mind. Memory is a muscle like those of the legs, which if you do not exercise wrinkles and you are transformed (from a mental point of view) with another kind of ability, that is, to be clear, an idiot. Moreover, as for everyone there is a risk that with aging comes Alzheimer's, one of the ways to avoid this unpleasant incident is to exercise memory.

And here is my diet. Every morning learn a verse, a short poem. It would be good to do some competition even with your friends to see who remembers the most. If you do not like poetry then do it with the formations of footballers, but be careful, because you should not only know who the footballers of Rome are today, but also those of other teams, why not even the teams of the past (think I I remember the Torino formation at the time when their plane, with all the players on board, crashed into the Superga: Bacigalupo, Ballarin, Maroso etc ..). I do memory races, maybe even for the books you read (who was on board Hispaniola in search of Treasure Island> Lord Trealwney, Captain Smollet, Dr. Levesey, Long John Silver, Jim…).

Try it once if your friends can remember who the servants of the three Muscovites and D'Artgnan (Grimaud, Bazin, Mousqueton and Planchet) were .. And if you do not want to read The Three Muscovites what you will have lost) then do, where I know, with one of the stories you have read. It seems like a game (and it's such) but you will see how your head will be populated by characters, stories, memories of all kinds. You may have wondered why computers were once called electronic brains.

It happened because they were conceived on the model of your (our) brain; but our brain has more connections than a computer. It is a kind of computer that carries with it, that grows and strengthens through exercise, while the computer that whoever is on the table, the more he uses the more he loses the speed of actions and after a few years will change.

While your brain can last up to 90 years and at this age (if you have exercised it) it will remember more things than what it remembers now. And for free. It is then historical memory, not about the facts of your life or the things you read, but about what happened before you were born. Today, if you go to the cinema, you have to go into a fixed hour, when the movie starts and as soon as it starts someone grabs you by the hand and tells you what is happening.

In my time you could go to the cinema at any time, I mean even in the middle of the show, get there while some things were happening and try to understand what had happened before (then, when the movie started from the beginning, it was understood if everything was understood correctly — except for the fact that if we liked the film we could stay and review the part that had already been seen). Yes, life is like a movie of my times.

We come to life while many things have already happened, for hundreds of thousands of years, and it is important to understand what happened before we were born. This is to better understand why so many new things are happening today.

Now, the school (apart from your personal readings) should teach you to memorize what happened before you were born, but it seems that it does not do this properly, as much research tells us that today’s young people, even those great people who go to university, if they are busy born in 1990 do not know (and probably do not want to know) what happened in 1980 (and here I am not talking about those who happened 500 years ago first). Statistics tell us that if you ask some who Aldo Moro was they answer that he was captured by the Red Brigades; but in fact he was killed by the Red Brigades.

We are not talking about the latter, which remain mysterious to many, and yet were present somewhat less than 30 years ago. I was born in 1932, ten years after the rise of fascism but I even knew who the prime minister was at the time of the March on Rome (what is this?) Maybe the fascist school had made me learn his name, for him explained to me how stupid and bad was that minister ("Faka zemërpula") whom the fascists had replaced.

Okay, but at least I knew it. Then, let’s put school aside, a young man today does not know who the cinema actors of 20 years ago were, while I knew who Francesca Bertini was who starred in silent films 20 years before I was born. Maybe because I was browsing old magazines crammed into our closet, but precisely, I also invite you to browse old magazines too because it is a way of learning what happened before you were born.

But why is it so important to know what happened before? Because in many cases, what has happened gives an explanation of why some things happen today and in any case, the same as for footballers' formations, this is a way to enrich our memory.

Keep in mind that you can not only do this on books and magazines, it can also be done very well online. Which should be used not only to chat with your friends but also to chat (if we can put it that way) with the history of the world. Who were the Hittites? What about commissars? And what were Columbus' three caravans called? When did the dinosaurs become extinct? But could Noah's Ark have had a steering wheel? What is the name of the ancestor of the ox? Were there more tigers 100 years ago? What was the Mountain Empire? And who was talking about the Empire of Evil? Who was the second Pope in history? When did Topolino appear? I could go on indefinitely and they would all be beautiful quest adventures.

All of these must be remembered. The day will come when you will be old and you will feel as if you have lived 1000 years, because it will be as if you had been present at the battle of Waterloo, assisted in the assassination of Julius Caesar, or taken a few steps far from the place where Bertold called Black, while mixing substances to find the way to gold production, mistakenly discovered gunpowder and blew himself up (and did well). "Other friends of yours, who will not have cultivated their memory, will have lived a single life, theirs, which must have been who knows how melancholy and poor in emotions."

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