The essence of forgiveness

By Paulo Coelho

One of Napoleon’s soldiers committed a crime – the story does not explain what exactly – and he was condemned to death.

On the evening before he was due to be shot, the soldier’s mother came to plead for her son’s life to be spared.

‘Madam, your son’s action does not deserve clemency.’

‘I know,’ said the mother. ‘If it did, that would not be true forgiveness. To forgive is the ability to go beyond vengeance or justice.’

When he heard those words, Napoleon commuted the death sentence to exile.

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  1. Carlos Pagano says:

    Sr. Coelho, muy imteresante su artí­culo en EL Semanal de Junio 3. Solo hubo un problema con el tí­tulo. Su traducción de peer 2 peer “De Amigo a Amigo” era aceptable, pero el tí­tulo que puso la revista “De Amigo para Amigo” es incorrecto.

    Además, “peer” en Inglés, no significa “amigo”, sino “igual”, o “del mismo rango” y a veces se traduce “par”, o sea que está “a la par mí­a”. los ingleses dicen “a man should be judged by his peers” (un hombre debe ser juzgado por sus iguales, como referencia a los jurados populares). Por ello la traducción más fiel de “peer 2 peer” es: “De Igual a Igual”.

    Un cordial saludo,

    Carlos Pagano

  2. zaccai free says:

    You are my inspiration — i run to the bookstore every time you have a new release – after reading the book i contemplate reading it again immediately! — I attended this year’s BEA in New York and bought a ticket to the author’s breakfast eagerly anticipating hearing your voice and being in your presence — instead i arrived to find that not only were you not there, there was no message, no reason that was shared — i sat through the panel enjoying some, being bored by others and wondering where in the world is Brother Coelho?

    Well, wherevere you are and whatever the reason I missed you, I still have your books and maybe we’ll meet in another time and space.

    Zaccai Free