Issue nº 234
People Always Know What Is Best For Us
A centipede decided to ask the forest’s wise man - the monkey - what the best medication would be for the ache in his legs.
"That’s rheumatism,” said the monkey. “You have way too many legs. You should be like me; have only two; rheumatism rarely appears.”
"And what do I do to have only two legs?”
"Don’t bother me with details,” answered the monkey. “A wise man only gives the best advice; you solve your problem.”
Can I Help?
As soon as he opened the church, a priest saw a woman come in, sit in the front pew and place her head between her hands. Two hours later, he noticed that the woman was still there, in the same position.
Concerned, he decided to approach her.
"Can I do anything for you?” he asked.
"No, thanks,” she answered. “I was already getting all the help I needed when you interrupted me.”
Jesuit Anthony Mello says, "In a monastery the words ‘Don’t Speak’ are not written. It is written, however, ‘Speak only if you can improve silence.’”
I Know What is Right
A peasant was returning home when he saw a donkey in the field.
"I’m not just any donkey,” said the animal. “I saw the messiah being born. I’ve lived for two thousand years and I am alive to give this testimony.”
Alarmed, the peasant ran to the church and told it to the parish priest. “Impossible,” he said. The peasant took the priest by the hand and took him where the donkey was. The animal repeated everything it had said.
“I’ll say it again: animals don’t speak,” said the priest.
“But you heard it!” the peasant insisted.
“How foolish you are! You’d rather believe in an ass than in a priest!”
That Will Work for Us as Well
A tale by the Lebanese writer Mikail Naaimé can illustrate the danger of following other’s methods, as noble as they may seem.
"We need to free ourselves from the slavery in which mankind keeps us,” an ox said to its companions. “For years we hear human beings saying that the door to freedom is stained with the blood of the martyrs. We will find it and will get in there with the power of four horns.”
They walked for days and nights through the road until they saw a door stained with blood.
"Here is the door to freedom,” they said. “We know our brothers were sacrificed in there.”
One by one, the oxen began to enter. And only inside, when it was way too late, did they realized that it was the door to the slaughterhouse.
Deciding on the Destinies of Others
Malba Tahan tells the story of a man who met an angel in the desert and gave him water.
“I am the angel of death and I came to get you,” said the angel. “But as you were kind, I will lend you the Book of Destiny for five minutes; you may change what you want.”
The angel gave the man the book. As he was leafing through its pages, the man began reading about the lives of his neighbors. And he got discontented,
“These people don’t deserve such nice things,” he said. With the pen in hand, he began worsening the lives of each one.
Finally, he reached the page of his destiny. He saw his tragic end, but as he prepared to change it, the book disappeared. Five minutes had already passed.
And right there, the angel took the man’s soul.
|Agenda: if you want to know where Paulo Coelho will be this month, please click here|