But if you believe yourself worthy of the the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here. – by Paulo Coelho in the introduction to The Alchemist, November 2002-
Until today, I had not read anything by Paulo Coelho – in fact, I knew next to nothing about him or his writing. After devouring The Alchemist in about 2 hours, I am certain I will be reading more of his work.
The Alchemist is a simple and wise little story about Santiago the shepherd boy who travels from the fields of Spain to the Egyptian Pyramids seeking a treasure he has dreamed about. Santiago meets a gypsy woman, a King, an Englishman and an alchemist who all impart their wisdom to him and help him on his journey. Along the way, Santiago learns about God and life and love – and the reader begins to realize that in simplicity there lies a broader truth.
Coelho has written a novel which is pure and unembellished in its prose; one that will resonate with people of all faiths; a story which testifies to the power of following one’s dreams and listening to one’s heart.
The Alchemist is a must read and one I highly recommend.
Lessons from The Alchemist (possible spoilers below!):
…and when each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises. -page 27-
There must be a language that doesn’t depend on words… -page 43-
When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. -page 68-
“Everyone has his or her own way of learning things,” he said to himself. “His way is isn’t the same as mine, nor mine as his. But we’re both in search of our Personal Legends, and I respect him for that.” -page 84-
It is said that all people who are happy have God within them. -page 131-
“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.” -page 134-
There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. -page 141-
…when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too. -page 150-
And that’s where the power of love comes in. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. -page 151-