Let's learn something or two from Paulo Coelho's "The Devil And Miss Prymm" - a novel of temptation. You would say I'm biased (since I'm so into him but heck, he's happily married to a gorgeous lady) but I do hope you would find time to read one of his many great novels. I an very sure you'll find at least one interesting lesson in life. Really...
Here's two short stories extracted from the said novel. Read them, think through them and do tell me if you don't think they are relevant, ok?
Short Story 1 - Every Single Act Matters
Berta : "I keep thinking about Ahab, our great hero and reformer, the man who was blessed by St Savin".
Chantal : "Why Ahab?"
Berta : "Because he could see that even the most insignificant of actions, however well intentioned, can destroy everything.
"They say that after he had brought peace to the village, driven away the remaining outlaws and modernised agriculture and trade in Viscos, he invited his friends to supper and cooked succulent piece of meat for them. Suddenly he realised there was no salt".
"So Ahab called to his son : "Go to the village and buy some salt, but pyr a fair price for it: neither too much nor too little".
"His son was surprised : "I can understand why I shouldn't pay too much for it, father, but if I can bargain them down, why not pay a bit less?"
"That would be the sensible thing to do in a bug city, but in a small village like ours, it could spell the beginning of the end".
"The boy left without asking any further questions. However Ahab's guests, who had overheard their conversation, wanted to know why they should not buy the salt more cheaply if they could. Ahab replied: "The only reason anyone would sell salt more cheaply than usual because he was desperate for money. And anyone who took advantage of that situation would be showing a lack of respect for the sweat and struggle of the man who laboured to produce it".
"But such a small thing couldn't possibly destroy a village" [Ahab's guest].
"In the beginning, there was only a small amount of injustice abroad in the world, but everyone who came afterwards added their portion, always thinking it was very small and unimportant, and look where we have ended up today" [Ahab].
Short Story 2 - Concentration & Objectivity
Berta's husband tried to see the sport [hunting] - considered cruel by some and traditional for others - as a way of teaching the hunters something about the art of living. Whenever someone with a lot of money but little hunting experience arrived in Viscos, he would take them out to a piece of waste ground. There, he would place a beer can on top of a stone.
Then he would stand about fifty yards from the can and with a single shot, send it flying.
"I'm the best shot in the region", he would say. "And now you're going to learn how to become as good as me".
He replaced the can on the same stone, walked back o where he had stood before, took a handkerchief out of his pocket and asked the newcomer to blindfold him. Then he aimed once more in the direction of the target and fired again.
"Did I hit?", he would ask, removing the blindfold.
"Of course not", the new arrival would say, pleased to see the proud guide humbled. "You missed it by a mile. I don't think there's anything you can teach me".
"I've just taught you the most important lesson in life", Berta's husband would reply. "Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes close".