I used to be a bottle of a classy vintage wine, gracefully placed on top shelf of a specialised wine store and expensively priced. From that position, I looked down to those cheaper wines with simple shape and similar looking bottles on the lower shelves.

I had a nice shape and dressed in an attractive label. Shoppers, when passing by, would carefully pick me up and eagerly look at me and then start to read the content of my label. I could sense their desire to have me. But when they looked at my price, they cautiously placed me back on the shelf and watched me with a sigh as if they wished they could afford me.

Nevertheless, they picked up a bottle of less pricey wine and passed by. One day a man who was smartly dressed picked me up without checking the price, went to the till, paid for me and took me home. He parked his posh car in a large and well decorated garage.  He entered a door at the rear of garage into a very large living room. The room was luxuriously furnished and the walls were decorated with expensive paintings. In the corner of the room there was a colossal dinning table. The table was elegantly covered with special dinner plate sets, silver cutlery and so on. A fragrant candle was burning in the centre of the table, giving warmth light to the surrounding. I could hear an easy listening solo violin which joyfully vibrated my eardrums.  He placed me beside the candle.

I looked at my shape and label in the mirror on the wall. I admiringly noticed my presence completing the table.

That night the maid served food with the wine I had kept inside me for many years.  When the wine finished, the man dropped me in the bin. I was very cross with him. He had no respect for me. Who the hell does he thinks he is I thought.  No one has treated me like this before. All those shelf fillers and customers handled me with grace. What is wrong with these rich people?  If I could I would smash his table and punish him.  Even the lady at the table did not take notice of my shape and elegant label.

They kept talking about how lovely the wine was, but they hadn't the slightest appreciation for me, for keeping that old wine within me for many years.

Night was dragging by and I hated to be in that smelly bin.  The bin said, "Do not fool yourself, you are no better than I. I have seen many bottles like you in my life. We don't have anything worthy within us. So long as we are empty we cannot expect respect."

"You speak for yourself", I said. "I'm a special bottle of valuable wine".

"Don't kid yourself" said the bin. "I'm just a bin and you are just an empty bottle. Enjoy this moment. Tomorrow you will be thrown somewhere far worse than here. Remember our values totally depend on what we gain within us, not on our looks and shapes."

Fridoun