Reading The Lord of the Rings I asked myself if the events that affect the characters in their paths could be the same ones we experience in everyday life.
I have found an answer thinking about the journey of Frodo, who begun with a choice: whether to leave for Mount Doom to destroy the Ring, or to renounce a mission both dangerous and crucial for the fate of Middle-Earth. The hobbit lives immersed in the tranquility of the County and certainly does not abandon his peaceful life simply to experience an adventure or a sudden desire for change, but because he is aware of what is happening in Middle-earth: Sauron, the dark lord, is in search of the Ring, the tool that allows him to dominate all forms of life. Frodo realizes that he cannot remain indifferent and therefore he decides to leave, also because the circumstances of life dictate this. I often experience the same type of situation, in which an external circumstance, an injustice, a friend in distress or a problem that concerns me personally, requires me to act and not stay indifferent, sometimes without my complete will.
A factor that has proved decisive for my life, just as it is for Frodo, is the one of companionship; the characters that the young hobbit meets on his journey are a free and unexpected gift, and they choose to support him by helping him to decide and not to go back.
I was particularly impressed by the presence of Pipino and Merry, the two hobbits met by chance in a cornfield in the Shire; at first, they are considered unsuitable for the mission, but Gandalf’s insistence on letting them go with Frodo made me realize how important it is for me to have a company founded on friendship, rather than on the wisdom or skills of those I meet in my path. Pipino and Merry are examples of those I desire as travel companions and of what I would like to be for the others: not the right person at the right time, able to provide the best possible help or advice, but a sincere and real person, who lives having his own desires without ignoring those of his friends.
The conclusion of the first book sees the dissolution of the group, because the evilness of the Ring has affected its integrity (it, indeed, represents a temptation for anyone who reaches it) and the words of Aragorn to Frodo: “You are the designated bearer, it is your destiny” highlight the limitation of companionship, that is that no one can take the place of the bearer of the Ring and remove him from the crucial task entrusted to him, because, as it happens in our life, a company does not take away personal responsibility for decision and freedom.
If on the one hand Aragorn’s sentence puts me in front of a fairly common mistake of mine, that is to think that being in a company saves me the trouble of getting involved, of facing the most difficult situations and of building my own path, on the other hand it seems to have the flavor of a wish, of reaching out and not withdraw from what is my destiny, with its satisfactions and difficulties, to trust the beauty that awaits me in life.