“Our lady with Baby Jesus in her arms, decided to come down to Earth and visit a monastery. The monks proudly joined in a long queue, and each of them came before the Virgin to render their homage. One declaimed beautiful poetry, another showed his illuminated paintings of biblical subjects, a third repeated the names of all the Saints. And so on, one monk after the other, praising Our Lady and the Baby Jesus.”
“The last monk of all there was the humblest in the whole monastery, who had never studied the learned books of the time. His parents were simple people, who worked in an old travelling circus, and all they had taught him was to throw balls into the air and juggle with them.”
“When it was his turn, the other members of the order wanted to bring the homage to a conclusion, since the old juggler would have nothing important to say, and might lower the image of the monastery. But in the bottom of his heart, he also felt a burning need to give something of himself to Jesus and the Virgin.”
“Ashamed, conscious of the disapproving looks of his brothers, he took a few oranges from his bag, and started to juggle them in the air, saying that juggling was all he knew how to do.”
“It was at that moment that the Baby Jesus, sitting on Our Lady’s lap, smiled and started to clap his hands. And the Virgin reached out her arms, inviting him to hold the baby.”
From the preface of the book “The Alchemist” written by Paulo Coelho.
I present the profile of the three world leaders who lived in the same period of history, and ask you if it is possible to choose the best one using the following data:
Candidate A was associated with witchdoctors and often consulted astrologists. He had two mistresses. His wife was a Lesbian. He smoked a lot. He drank eight to ten martinis a day.
Candidate B never managed to hold down a job because of his arrogance. He slept the whole morning. He used opium at school, and was always considered a bad student. He drank a glass of brandy every morning.
Candidate C was decorated a hero. A vegetarian, he did not smoke. His discipline was exemplary. He occasionally drank a beer. He stayed with the same woman during his moments of glory and defeat.
And what was the answer?
A] Franklin Delano Roosevelt. B] Winston Churchill. C] Adolf Hitler.
Our big problem, especially in a world that is growing more and more fundamentalist, is not allowing people in prominent positions to commit human mistakes.
We are always in search of the perfect ruler. And we risk to have another madman like Hitler.
We are always looking for a pastor to guide and help us find our way.
The truth is that the great revolutions and the progress made by humanity were brought about by people just like us. We only need to have the courage to make a key decision at a crucial moment.
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was death that jostled me.
She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.
Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?
That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.
The original story appeared in the play ‘Sheppey’ by ‘W. Somerset Maugham’.