The piece of bread that fell wrong side up

By Paulo Coelho

We all have a tendency to believe that everything we do will turn out wrong, because we think we do not deserve to be blessed. Here is an interesting story about precisely that feeling.

A man was quietly eating his breakfast. Suddenly, the piece of bread which he had just spread with butter fell to the ground.

Imagine his surprise when he looked down and saw that it had landed buttered side up! The man thought he had witnessed a miracle. Excited, he went to tell his friends what had happened, and they were all amazed because when a piece of bread falls on the floor, it always lands buttered side down, making a mess of everything.

‘Perhaps you’re a saint,’ one friend said. ‘And this is a sign from God.’

Soon the whole village knew, and they all started animatedly discussing the incident: how was it that, against all expectations, that man’s slice of bread had fallen on the floor buttered side up? Since no one could come up with a credible answer, they went to see a Teacher who lived nearby and told him the story.

The Teacher demanded one night to pray, reflect and ask for Divine inspiration. The following day, they all returned, eager for an answer.

‘It’s quite simple really,’ said the Teacher. ‘The fact is that the piece of bread fell exactly as it should have fallen, but the butter had been spread on the wrong side.’

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  1. Maryon says:

    This is funny – it made me giggle

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Paulo,

    A very interesting story that do happens in real life. Sometimes we need to look at things differently or with a different perspective.

  3. Olá Paulo! Again! Namaste! :)

    Let me see if I understood something about this message. People sometimes don’t know how to explain the simple things, facts, etc, in a simple way, so they tend to look for “difficult explanations or answers” for that thing or fact. And another tendency is to look for the meaning of the things outside, in another person or in a master, teacher, etc, and many times the answer is inside themselves. I just need to open my mind and to open my heart and I will probably find the answer. But here is another question: are there casualities? Some things can happend “just because they happend” like in the bread case? :P Or everything has a reason? Even if it’s a small thing or if it’s a bigger thing? Hmmm… I’m thinking again… Thank you! :D

    Be blessed you, honey!

    Marta :)

  4. Stephanie says:

    Ha ha ha! Thank you – you just brought some sunshine to my day. It’s too easy to fall into that slump of feeling like the Fates are conspired against you. I love your work. Thank you!

  5. Cam says:

    lovely story!

  6. Linn says:

    Sometimes it’s much more difficult to belive in a miracle than it seems…

  7. Nina says:

    I read this story for a first time in your book “Like the flowing river” and at the first moment i thought what a bizzare story.In a while it came to me that every person has its own interpretation of a specific situation and that is what makes people individuals.

    Most of the times the answer is so simple, but we always try to come up with the most complicated ideas.