Choosing one’s fate

By Paulo Coelho

Many years ago, there lived a man who was capable of loving and forgiving everyone he came across. Because of this, God sent an angel to talk to him.

‘God asked me to come and visit you and tell you that he wishes to reward you for your goodness,’ said the angel. ‘You may have any gift you wish for. Would you like the gift of healing?’

‘Certainly not,’ said the man. ‘I would prefer God to choose those who should be healed.’

‘And what about leading sinners back to the path of Truth?’

‘That’s a job for angels like you. I don’t want to be venerated by anyone or to serve as a permanent example.’

‘Look, I can’t go back to Heaven without having given you a miracle. If you don’t choose, I’ll have to choose one for you.’

The man thought for a moment and then said:

‘All right, I would like good to be done through me, but without anyone noticing, not even me, in case I should commit the sin of vanity.’

So the angel arranged for the man’s shadow to have the power of healing, but only when the sun was shining on the man’s face. In this way, wherever he went, the sick were healed, the earth grew fertile again, and sad people rediscovered happiness.

The man traveled the Earth for many years, oblivious of the miracles he was working because when he was facing the sun, his shadow was always behind him. In this way, he was able to live and die unaware of his own holiness.

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Comments

  1. Flower Star says:

    Thank you. I’ve always been at a loss to put into words what I believe in and hold dearest in life. This story says all. Thank you from all my heart.

  2. dammam bala says:

    dear paulo,

    you are the one who has completely changed my perception about life, thro’ your ‘alchemist’

    right now i am translating your english version to tamil (an indian language) for the benefit of my friends and family members who can’t understand english.

    my blog is http://www.bala-win-paarvai.blogspot.com

    thanks for your inspirational and mystic writing,

    warm regards
    dammam bala

  3. fLUXman says:

    was always myself looking for a prefect wish, how cool to come up with this wish of light, shadow and ignorance all leading to bliss. Thanks ,Sir
    bo0om
    fLUXman

  4. Thank Goddess! :) The “shadow” is already working here! :)
    Be blessed you, Paulo! Be blessed all the brave Warriors of Light that are healing their lifes and the planet without know the wonderful work that they’re doing!
    Love & Light to all!
    Marta :)

  5. vishal says:

    The man in the story has to be Mr Coelho, you are a wonderful man sir with powers to teach people the truth of life, the wonderful truth that god made and humans have forgotten, you are bringing them back on this deivine truth path wth your words and your literature, keep up the divine work sir, may god bless u

  6. WENDY ESPINZA says:

    WHEN WE HAVE TOO MANY OPTIONS IN LIFE AND WE ARE AWARE OF IT THE JOURNEY OF CHOOSING OUR OWN FATE COULD BE A BIT COMPLICATED. OUT OF LAZINESS WE COULD CHOOSE THE SHORTEST PATH. AND WHEN WE HAVE REACHED OUR DESTINATION AND WE LOOK BACK WE ARE GOING TO SEE THAT IN REALITY NOTHING WAS ACCOMPLISHED WE’RE THERE BUT WE DON’T FEEL PROUD WAS THE EASIEST WAY REALLY THE BEST? PERHAPS IF WE HAVE TAKEN THE LONGEST PAHT EVEN IF WE HAD TO WALK ON FIRE TO GET THERE WE COULD HAVE GAIN THE EXPERIENCE WE COULD HAVE SEEN THAT LIFE IS HARD BUT WORTH LIVING EVEN IF IN THAT JOURNEY WE ENCOUNTERED MILLIONS OF OBSTACLES BUT THAT IS WHAT MAKES US GROW AND MAKES US STRONGER AND AT THE END WE ARE PROUD CAUSE WE HAVE SEEN THE BEAUTY AND UGLINESS OF LIFE WE HAVE BECOME WISER

  7. [...] to have the fellow change his mind about the whole suicide thing (very Veronika Decides to Die by Coehlo, I know) but then find himself so in debt and alienated from his old life because of the way he [...]

  8. Jim Courbis says:

    Angela came…no rewards….just Open…Close… to me…
    You are the Gift…
    You are the Miracle…
    Let Us know….
    Jim Courbis

  9. The Observer says:

    Nice story, but wouldn’t him knowing about this gift make a better use of it, as of making sure to travel more in order to heal more and more people?

  10. dehayat says:

    Suddenly, reading your daily message of May 18, 2007, I understand what my old aunt (who died at the age of 88 in 2004) was all about.

    She married an English soldier during the war, and went to live in far-off England. When my uncle retired, they decided to try to live the rest of their days in Indonesia, where my aunt came from. While here, they provided scholarships for many street children, but whose names they did not even want to remember.

    When eventually they returned to England (the tropical heat was too much for my uncle), they continued to donate most of their money to charities in Indonesia and England, as they had done during most of their marriage.

    When my uncle died, my aunt burned all his papers. When I had opportunity to visit her in her little, rented apartment on the ground floor of an old-fashioned house, she told me that she also planned to burn all her papers when she thought the end would be near. I protested and said that may be her nieces and nephews would like to have some documents to remember her by (they had no children of their own).

    When she died, and my sister and I went to attend the funeral, true to form, she had left orders for all her papers to be destroyed and all her goods to be distributed to charities. Nothing was left. But the pastor of her parish held a single piece of carving, and handed it to us, because he did not know whether a piece of wood should be considered a “document”.

    My sister and I stared at the piece – a rough, almost modern-looking carving depicting a scene of a buffalo in the middle if a paddy-field, pulling a yoke – and instinctively turned it over. There were three blurred letters, presumably the initials of the artist. But, clearly stamped for all to see was the name of an orphanage in Jakarta, with the two words meaning thank you in Indonesian: Terima Kasih, literally meaning “accepting gift” or “accepting love”, and the year: 1970.

    We checked out the orphanage when we arrived home. It had been closed down for many years.

    Somewhere, in Indonesia — or maybe elsewhere in the world — a person (and many others) is/are living and breathing, whose life/lives has/have been changed by a donation that allowed him/her/them to continue their education, and they have no idea who the donor was. And by the same token, the donors simply did not want to know who those persons are.

    Thank you Paolo Coelho for making me understand three years later. I accept your gift.

  11. Ash says:

    :) Thank you.

  12. Marty says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Google brought me to your story when I was searching for blogs mentioning the gift of healing. This story is an absolutely perfect example of selfless love. I request permission to use it for an illustration in an upcoming sermon.
    Beautiful.

  13. Li ZHU says:

    Dear Paulo,

    What a delightful story! You know how many people would have chosen the first two out of vanity!

    Thank you for reminding us about doing good without anyone knowing, and without even ourselves realizing it. How? By just being loving and caring in all we do. If we practise that at all times, it becomes second nature.

    The Witch of Portobello was just available here in Jakarta, and I am going to read it today!

    You are such a blessing!

    Sincerely,

    Li ZHU

  14. Karen says:

    Thx for this daily message, it made me smile with all my heart :)

    This man was a guardian angel for many people throughout his life; This is true, humble and unconditional love…

    “To love for the sake of being loved is human, But to love for the sake of loving is angelic.” by lamartine.

  15. marisa says:

    [viloet]Sexta-feira chegou, desejo de todo coração que…

    VOCÊ tenha muitos sorrisos, suspiros , abraços, alegrias,
    cheinhos de esperanças e novos sabores de sentimentos,
    vontades, desejos e sonhos !

    Tenha um… 

      ||¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯||
      || ÓTIMO FIM DE SEMANA !!!! ||
      ||_____________________||
         ||        ||
         ||        ||  Bjinhosss!!!
         ||  ¤¤      ||     οοο 
     ΰΰΰ  ||   )_(  ,;;;,  ||   ώώ \_/ w
      )_(  ||  \|/  \_/  ||  )_(  \|  (_)
      \|   ||   \|/  |/   ||   \|  \|//   |
    _.\|/___||__\V/_\|//____.||__\\|//_\V/\_\|/__
    Beijos com carinho.