An Excerpt from Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist”

 

“I’ve had this shop for thirty years. I know good crystal from bad, and everything else there is to know about crystal. I know its dimensions and how it behaves. If we serve tea in crystal, the shop is going to expand. And then I’ll have to change my way of life.”

“Well, isn’t that good?”

“I’m already used to the way things are. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better that they had before. It made be very depressed. Now I can see that it hasn’t been too bad. The shop is exactly the size I always wanted it to be. I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.”

The boy didn’t know what to say. The old man continued, “You have been a real blessing to me. Today, I understand something I didn’t see before every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.

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