In Dante’s Divine Comedy Plutus, the god of wealth, is personified as a wolflike demon who guards the fourth circle of the Inferno, reserved for the Hoarders and the Wasters. In this circle, punishment awaits those whose concern for material goods has deviated from the desired mean. Hoarders and Wasters ram against each other, pushing great boulders, crashing together. Then the process starts all over again, the punished condemned to repeat the meaningless struggle.
How to escape the fate of this vicious circle? With sudden, unprecedented change rocking not only our economy but also our social and political structures, we are being forced to redefine wealth. It will not be an easy ride, but it is possible to see it as a golden opportunity to be seized, to allow ourselves to be refined by fire in order to keep only what is of true worth and value. After all, ‘going for gold’ requires first and foremost a spirit of endurance.
Our seasonal issue focuses on what gold represents for our humanity; on the value we place on our systems, our common aspirations, on those close to us and ultimately on ourselves. We hope you will take time to read it as, together with our columnists, journalists, photographers and advertisers, we have attempted to respond to the challenge of uncertain times.
Laura & Damian Santamaria