Among the thousands of possible paths a man may choose, every man possessed of stubbornness, perseverance, and hope will choose the one which is best for him. I believe that in most people’s lives many have had the experience of waking and saying to themselves, “I must change my life! I’m tired of feeling oppressed by this system of numbers.” Because, in fact, that is exactly what we are: numbers. Numbers on a time card, numbers of the quantity produced, numbers of hours worked more or less, numbers of the date of payday, numbers of the minutes lost in traffic going to work, and, most of all, the numbers of minutes lost working instead of living.
It was once written above an entrance “work sets you free”. Fortunately, these places are now abandoned and this writing in iron serves to remind us of the story of a horror, one that I hope is never repeated. I don’t speak of this to compare that time to our contemporary society. I just want to take this famous phrase and re-examine the meaning of the words as they were once intended before they were so misused: “Work sets you free if you can decide each day in which direction you want to go, if you are allowed to say NO, if you can be happy with little but you live with passion.”
Many people awake each day with good intentions, then switch off the alarm and roll over under the covers. However, there are some who instead decide to sit up and put their feet on the floor. Luigi is one of them. He is a person of little pretense. For many years he worked diligently as a site surveyor. He had everything he needed: a safe and well paying job, a girlfriend (now wife) who loved him, and with whom he could go on vacation once or twice a year, a car, a motorcycle…all that a person can want from life. An enviable situation according to recent statistics, which allows you to have a dog, to get married, to buy a house, and to imagine having a child (and to cry when you really see him).
Then why sit up and put those feet on the floor? Why follow an idea that everyone thinks is crazy? Simple: when someone is brave and puts aside his fears, he chooses to tear off that uniform with the slave number.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day…first comes the anger, then the anger becomes restlessness, the restlessness causes insomnia, the insomnia precedes the frustration and then…
the calm after the storm clarifies the direction: I’ll drop everything and change my life.
Not everyone comes to this conclusion, but Luigi did. At the end of his rope, Luigi Celentano chose to write his own song and to live a slow life according to his own timeframe.
As the old and wise say, “nothing comes from nothing.” Luigi took these words to heart, rolled up his sleeves, he dove headfirst into a new career in agriculture.
He took over some agricultural land and a vineyard that belonged to his wife’s family. At the time, he was completely unaware of what countryside was and what it could yield. He came up with his own vision and decided to focus on 3 products: olive oil, hazelnut and wine. The difficulties are many. The money he has been saving for many years is all going the same direction, but determination can overcome all obstacles.
Day after day it’s all uphill, but Luigi understands that if you want to get to the top you don’t have to watch down, you just need to put one foot in front of the other.
Then, the heavy breathing and heartbeat become more regular; the body can better handle fatigue; and great amounts of willpower are exchanged for a fervent awareness of the right amount of effort a task requires.
He creates a hazelnut field, brings the olive tree grove back to life, and renovates the vineyard. Nature has its own timeframe. If you decide to respect it, then you must be patient. Luigi will need to wait to see his hazelnut field growing and his business functioning at full capacity. He’s in no rush – Luigi has the steadiness of a sage, which is an indispensable characteristic as one changes one’s life.
For now, just over a year after starting out, he is proud of his organic olive oil and of his first wine production called LACUS, a white wine which is gaining more and more approval. Above all, the product he cultivated with true love and the one which he considers his best accomplishment is his happiness.
The story of Luigi’s change teaches us that with good will and determination we can be what we want, even if we have everything to learn and very few guarantees. It teaches us that when you are chasing a dream, enthusiasm doubles and you can do unbelievable things. You discover an inner energy that you didn’t even know you had…because you were forced to do things you hated in your everyday life.