My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I prefer this book to The Alchemist.
It answers many philosophical questions:
1. “What is defeat?” There’s no such thing of victory and defeat, only movement. Things change from one moment to the next like the seasons. Only the valiant know the honour of losing and winning. There are people who have never been defeated because they have never fought. They avoid scars, humiliations, seeing injustice, feelings of helplessness and doubt. They in other words avoid life and think they are superior for never having lifted a finger or encountered an obstacle. The latter people are cowards and they will never know defeat or victory.
2. “What is solitude?” At life’s most important moments we are alone – birth, death, the artist before he creates.
3. “I’m not good enough.” Feelings of uselessness corrodes people’s souls. Young people see the world is full of problems, but they find no one is interested in their views. Older people want to share their experiences and maturity, but they are told the world has changed and they have to keep up to date and listen to the young. Don’t try to be useful. Try to be yourself. That is enough and that makes all the difference.
4. “Fear of change.” When we are happy we are on the right road. The correct path of nature is change. Go forward despite the fear, the doubts and the naysayers. Fear gradually ebbs away to be replaced by certainty. People who love you want the best for you even if they don’t understand the changes you are making.
5. “What is beauty?” We allow ourselves to be influenced by what other people think. We deny our own beauty because others can’t or won’t recognise it. Soon all the potential we had withers away. With words people can steal away our self-confidence and leave us embittered. Resist the temptation to allow others to define who we are and let our souls shine forth. Beauty exists not in sameness, but in difference.
6. “Love has always passed me by.” The love we give is not the same as the love we receive. Love is an act of faith, not an exchange. We love because we need to love. Resist loneliness by keeping on loving. Love is only a word, until someone arrives to give it meaning. Don’t give up. It is the last key on the key ring that opens the door.
7. “Friendship.” Love is an act of faith in another person, not an act of surrender. Love accepts its companion unconditionally and allows each to grow his/her own way in respectful freedom. Avoid at all costs those who are by your sides in moments of sadness to offer consoling words. They are actually feeling superior to you in those moments and they are concealing their own fragility. Those who are by your side in happy times do not harbour envy in their hearts, only joy to see you happy. Avoid also those who seek friendship to maintain a certain social or economic status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to open themselves. Stay close to those who are only interested in opening the door to your heart. For they won’t invade your soul without your consent, or shoot a deadly arrow through that door.
8. “Elegance.” Elegance is not an outer quality, but part of the soul visible to others. It is the coming together of true values of life. Arrogance causes people to humiliate others. Elegance teaches us to walk in the light. A heart that love freely, reveals elegance in its every gesture. Arrogance attracts hatred and envy. Elegance arouses respect and love.
9. “Success”. Success comes to those who don’t compare themselves with others and simply do their best every day. They help and receive help without fears. Learn which bridges to cross and which to burn.
10. “Loyalty”. Words are the deadliest weapons which can ruin lives without leaving a trace of blood and whose wounds never heal. Don’t place yourself at the same level as a vile adversary. Loyalty can never be imposed by force, fear, insecurity or intimidation. It is a choice. It’ll never tolerate betrayal, but will be generous with mistakes. It withstands time and passing conflicts.
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