Skip to main content



“When life capsizes our boat, some drown, others struggle hard to get back on it. The ancients connoted the gesture of attempting to climb back onto overturned boats with the verb “resalio”. Perhaps the name of the quality of those who never lose hope and continue to fight against adversity, resilience, comes from here.” (Pietro Trabucchi)

When at school we start to study a period characterized by an epidemic we always talk about deaths, deaths and more deaths. There is never anything positive; just a succession of catastrophes. In class, however, during the lesson on the plague of 1348 a strange thing happened: to everyone’s amazement we ended up talking about a masterpiece of Italian literature, the Decameron.

According to our teacher, it was only thanks to the plague that Boccaccio began writing this wonderful work. He would react with vitality when faced with a problematic situation, transforming a tragedy into an opportunity.

Boccaccio, therefore, realizes that materially he cannot do anything and therefore “travels with his mind” fleeing from the plague of Florence and “taking refuge” in the country house with the 10 boys of his work. Among other things, 7 of these 10 were women, could it be a coincidence? Do women perhaps represent freedom?

The question we asked ourselves is: how is it possible that Boccaccio succeeded? (DAMN! BLESSED IS HE…)

It certainly isn’t simple because when a problem arises the first reaction would be to stop or run away without even trying to face it. A bit like when you have a question that you don’t want to ask and you try to postpone it every time or when during a navigation the currents and winds are too strong and it can happen that the small boat sailing on the seas capsizes. Yet some people, like Boccaccio, manage to get back on the boat and face their problems. Have they perhaps developed the ability to “always see the glass half full” and therefore react better to life’s adversities?

This phenomenon is called resilience in literature…after all, even Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said: <<you cannot control external events but you can control your reactions to them>>…so the question that we hate so much and that we continually postpone, sooner or later it will have to be faced trying to bring home a good result!. It’s the question of vitality…being able to see the glass half full…learning not to drown in the sea once you fall.

Vitality, however, should walk hand in hand with self-knowledge…not an easy task because we live bombarded by perfect and stereotyped images and figures that push us to feel fundamentally all the same or at least make it quite complicated to be ourselves…..but if you it’s not you, then how do you not get lost while browsing?

Maybe sometimes you can’t help but get lost, in the sea of ​​life our boats can easily capsize due to currents and sudden changes in the winds. The important thing, however, is not how many times we fall into the sea, but whether we have the courage to get up and get back on the boat with our heads held high, ready to fall back a hundred times and get back on a thousand more.

Sofia Schievano

Maria Vittoria Straface

Students class 3I of Liceo scientifico G B Grassi Latina


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *