Mogo always wants something better

By Paulo Coelho

Many years ago, there lived in China a young man called Mogo, who earned his living breaking stones. Although he was strong and healthy, he was not contented with his lot and complained about it day and night. He so blasphemed against God that, in the end, his guardian angel appeared to him.
‘You’re healthy and you have your whole life before you,’ said the angel. ‘All young men start off doing the same sort of job as you. Why are you always complaining?’
‘God has treated me unfairly and has not given me the chance to grow,’ replied Mogo.
Concerned, the angel went to ask the Lord for his help in ensuring that his protégé did not end up losing his soul.
‘Do as you wish,’ said the Lord. ‘Everything that Mogo wants will be granted to him.’
The following day, Mogo was, as usual, breaking stones when he saw a carriage pass by bearing a nobleman laden with jewels. Wiping the sweat from his dirty face, Mogo said bitterly:
‘Why can’t I be a nobleman too? That is my destiny!’
‘So be it!’ murmured his angel, delighted.
And Mogo was transformed into the owner of a sumptuous palace with a vast estate, with many servants and horses. He used to go out every day with his impressive train of followers and enjoyed seeing his former companions lined up at the roadside, gazing respectfully up at him.
On one such afternoon, the heat was unbearable; even under his golden parasol, Mogo was sweating as much as he used to in his days as a breaker of stones. He realised then that he wasn’t really that important: above him were princes and emperors, but higher than them all was the sun, who obeyed no one – the sun was the true king.
‘Dear angel, why can’t I be the sun? That must be my destiny!’ whined Mogo.
‘So be it!’ exclaimed the angel, concealing his sadness at such vaulting ambition.
And Mogo became the sun, as he had wanted.
While he was shining in the sky, admired for his immense power to ripen the grain or scorch it as he wished, a black spot started moving towards him.
The dark stain grew larger and larger, and Mogo realised that it was a cloud spreading all around him, so that he could not longer see the Earth.
‘Angel!’ cried Mogo. ‘The cloud is stronger than the sun! My destiny is to be a cloud!’
‘So be it!’ replied the angel.
Mogo was transformed into a cloud and he thought he had finally realised his dream.
‘I’m so powerful!’ he yelled as he obscured the sun.
‘I’m invincible!’ he thundered as he chased the waves.
But on the deserted ocean shore stood a vast granite rock, as old as the world itself. Mogo thought that the rock was defying him and unleashed a storm such as the world had never seen. Vast, furious waves lashed the rock, trying to wrench it from the earth and hurl it into the depths of the sea.
Firm and impassive, the rock remained where it was.
‘Angel,’ sobbed Mogo, ‘the rock is stronger than the cloud! My destiny is to be a rock!’
And Mogo was transformed into that rock.
‘Who can vanquish me now?’ he wondered. ‘I am the most powerful thing in the world!’
And so several years passed, until, one morning, Mogo felt something stabbing into his stone entrails, this was followed by intense pain, as if part of his granite body was being broken into pieces. Then he heard dull, insistent thuds and felt again that terrible pain.
Mad with fear, he cried:
‘Angel, someone is trying to kill me! He has more power than I do, I want to be like him!’
‘So be it!’ exclaimed the angel, weeping.
And that was how Mogo went back to breaking stones.
(A story sent by Shirlei Massapust)

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  1. Ahmad says:

    sometimes we should allow life to take its own course..ALWAYS NOT SOMETIMES..

  2. Granite says:

    Very interesting post you wrote. Glad I have stumbled upon it. Cheers!

  3. andrea says:

    Paulo é errado desejar? é errado querer mais?

  4. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo,

    Its always most powerful to be who you are. Life is a journey and it often leads us to the very place we started- at ourselves, only when we end the journey, we are far happier, for we’ve discovered this really is the place for us..and the journey itself is what developed our character enough to enjoy the destination. Its a beautiful story, and i loved reading it.
    It would mean the world to me if i could write to you on a personal note (email).. I know your a busy man, so i don’t expect it, although i would rather love so much :)

    Thank you for being.

  5. Ellinor Aspeflo says:

    The grass always seem to be more green on the other side. And if we get there, we end up realizing that it is the same grass with the same colur as the grass we walked on before.
    You cannot change who you are, but you can change your attitude towards life. Be greatful.

  6. Maya says:

    I really liked what was wrote
    Sometimes we forget that we should always accept what we are …each one of us is unique in his own way

  7. andrew says:

    I feel that i am mogo at times and also need a check in time to control my fears too….

  8. Lia says:

    Contentment…ah, what a beautiful feeling.

  9. Celia says:

    My dearest Paulo,

    Part of the journey is just being ourselves… at all cost.

    Love, love, love



  10. IN says:

    it is important to understand the honour and the wisdom and strength man needs to do their daily jobs
    respecting what you do is very important because that will make you grow
    Understanding and folowing rules before knowing how to use them
    You can’t grow by thinking someone else will do it for you because you will go back to the way you were, you will have to change yourself
    And by changing yourself respect what you do and be grateful

  11. Alaa' says:

    This is what almost every one of us passed through at certain times of our lives but when the moment arrives and we sort of discover parts of ourselves, we start loving what we are with great amusement! we simply get dumbfounded..
    i love the story
    Obrigada Paulo from Jerusalem/Palestine:)

  12. Ahmad says:

    sometimes we should allow life to take its own course..ALWAYS NOT SOMETIMES..

  13. danira says:

    this story is amazing,i just loved reading it,it has such powerfull message

  14. fLUXman says:

    indeed a flow of never ending wisdom,
    rolling stones on every vibe,
    so strong the energy,
    the vibration,
    a glow,
    pure stone, ;-)
    born stoned that we are,
    our foolish brainwashed wishes,
    our inflated egos, truly pathetic,
    once again lets remember,
    that it is not we,
    who own this land,
    but that the land,
    is what we belong to,
    bo0om paulo

  15. Noor says:

    I really liked this one… sometimes the best thing to do is to accpet and embrace who we are! :)