In the queue at the shopping market

By Paulo Coelho

A priest from the Church of the Resurrection in Copacabana was patiently waiting his turn to buy some meat at the supermarket when a woman tried to jump the queue.

A stream of verbal insults burst forth from the other customers, and the woman responded with equal vehemence. Just as the situation was beginning to get out of hand, someone called out: ‘Hey, lady, God loves you!’

‘It was amazing,’ the priest told me. ‘At a moment when everyone was thinking about hate, someone spoke of love. All the ferment disappeared as if by magic. The woman walked back to her rightful place in the queue, and the other customers apologised for having reacted so aggressively.’

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  1. […] In the queue at the shopping market By Paulo Coelho A priest from the Church of the Resurrection in Copacabana was patiently… […]

  2. saludos, necesito que me ayuden a encontrar una publicacion que hizo paulo coello el la revista del periodico el nacional en venezuela en uno de sus articulos publicados alli, que se refiere a la historia de un premio novel de fisica que argumento que el sus profesores lo enseñaron a pensar. ayudenme .gracias

  3. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo, Brandon, kathleen and friends,

    This story is rather lovely, but i find myself in a position of hoping events like this should occur more often. In cases of extreme hate and anger its always a good to step back and see positivity in a situation. Funnily enough as said in Glinglo’s story, my dad always blows kisses when he makes a mistake on the road. People’s attitudes change immediately from anger to laughter. Its really lovely actually. With regard to the water formation, i found myself fascinated by it too when i discovered it. The man did experiments on many different thoughts and they found that love and positivity always brought the water particles to a pretty orientated shape while negativity always stayed distorted. Its very amazing to what it could imply, for example, that thoughts itself can effect the chemical position of particles (not sure if thats the right term). In could also imply that since 71% of your body is of a water nature, the manner in which you think can influence exactly how you feel. Of course this is all speculation, but its very interesting to think about.. What exactly the implications of this particular finding is. I find it rather extraordinary.

    Love you all.
    Thank you for being.

  4. Ghasem says:

    I visited your weblog,I found it great..
    I’m eager to exchange of views with each other..
    The thing that is so considerable in Paulo Coelho’s works,is the way he looks at life and his special way of narrating..
    this very special way is really live,and I shoud say 3dimentional,the reader completely finds themselves at the very situation..

  5. Maris says:

    Just wondering… What if the woman is an atheist and stubbornly not walk back to her rightful place in the queue? Would other people around still react the same? Would they still apologize for having reacted so aggressively? It is easy to apologize and admit our own faults if others humbly accept their mistake. But acting the same whatever the situation is? I doubt…

  6. Myzpax says:

    I was reading Neale Donald Walsch’s blog where he recommends “The Alchemist”. I always believed and defended following dreams. Some people say most of the time it’s not realistic, and I tell them that the dream is only a goal, the road to get there is, to say the least, “realistically” real, if I’m allowed the redundancy, because you’re going to have to develop and perfecten skill s and overcome fears and defeats. The story of Abraham sacrificing his son comes to my mind. Most people think God was trying to proof Abrahams faith. I don’t quite agree. If memory doesn’t fail me, Isaac was Abraham’s reward for his faith in God. I think God was trying to teach Abraham a very important lesson. Abraham was a hundred years old when he had a son from Sahara, the woman he loved the most. I’m sure his natural tendency would be to overprotect his son. By asking him to sacrifice his son, God was telling Abraham “The only way your son is going to grow into a strong, capable man is if you let him live his life and learn from his mistakes. Anyway he doesn’t belong to you, he belongs to life.”

    Like Casey Kasem would say “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars

    Love, love, love

  7. carmen says:

    A veces nos da verguenza hacer el bien. Nuestro sentimiento de culpa intenta decirnos que, cuando realizamos un acto generoso, lo que en realidad queremos es impresionar a los demás.

    Paulo Coelho
    Columna periodí­stica

    Tú, Paulo, has superado este obstáculo. Ojalá todos pudieramos. De ser así­, el mundo serí­a muy diferente.

    Que estos comentarios jamás entorpezcan tu camino.

    Dios te Bendiga.

    Carmen Sarabia Sánchez.

  8. carmen says:

    Dudo mucho que Paulo se quede sin ideas. Todas sus palabras provienen de la misma fuente: del Amor. El Amor es una fuente inacabable. Infinita.

    Carmen Sarabia Sánchez

  9. alan gomez says:

    Señor Coelho
    Sus últimos artí­culos publicados en la Revista Dominical del periódico El Nacional de Venezuela (“Todo en Domingo”), me recuerdan a un excelente periodista que existió en Chile en las décadas de los 60-70. Diariamente, por Radio y luego por Televisión, hablaba de diferentes temas del diario acontecer nacional en forma muy amena, didáctica, documentada, actualizada y siempre con curiosidades especiales acerca de los temas por él tratados. Sus programas acaparaban un altí­simo porcentaje de audiencia nacional y sus charlas “familiar”, eran escuchadas y comentadas en todo los cí­rculos.
    Mi admiración por él, cayó al mí­nimo posible inmediatamente después del golpe militar comandado por el mal recordado Pinochet y los cuatro jinetes de la Apocalipsis, en el primer programa, después de silenciarse las marchas y que los golpistas autorizaran a las emisoras y canales para volver a su programación “habitual”, cuando todos esperábamos una palabras reconfortantes, alentadoras y optimistas, lo vimos en la pantalla de nuestros televisores con su cara muy seria, expresión afligida, sus bigotes gruesos, ojos cansados, preguntarle a la audiencia:
    – Por favor, escrí­banme y digan de que tema quieren que les hable.
    El vací­o mental desnudó por completo al venerado periodista Luis Hernández en el pedestal que lo habí­amos montado, levantó tal cantidad de polvo al caerse que terminó por pasar al olvido rápidamente.
    Volviendo a usted, reconocido y admirado escritor, solicitar a sus asiduos lectores opiniones o definiciones para ciertos temas, pensamiento, acciones, sentimientos, ideas, etc., con el fin de que UD. los publique, facture por ellos, acreciente sus entradas económicas, se llene de honores y cubra sus compromisos contractuales con, en este caso que conozco, El Nacional, además de parecerme de mal gusto, me recuerda a aquel periodista chileno.
    ¿Está cayendo también en aquel vací­o mental de falta de ideas o agotamiento de sus temas que lo llevaron al reconocimiento mundial?

    No, Alan. Estoy permitiendo que mis lectores tengan tambien possibilidad de decir lo que sienten. Es una serie de 7 articulos apenas. Gracias

  10. Juhi says:

    The greatest need of the hour is love and not just love for one’s own family but love for the whole of human kind.
    We forget that we are but a part of one cosmic whole, hence when we hate, we hate none but ourselves.
    Whatever goes around comes around.
    The energy we release comes back to us.

  11. Kathleen says:

    Brandon, that’s really interesting.

  12. John Dierckx says:

    Gandhi once said:

    “Love is the strongest force the world possesses and yet it is the humblest imaginable”.

    I guess this story is another example to prove his point.



  13. John Dierckx says:

    Thank you for this beautiful story. My good friend Michael Pokocky (, a fantastic writer in his own right, alterted me to this story.

    Love and compassion are two words by which I live my live and run my business. They make for a great life experience that goes beyond anything I ever hoped for.

    While the lady stopped the fight through telling people that God loves you, just think of how this planet would look like like if we all loved each other, not in the sense of affection, but as a form of being aware that we all make part of this one human family and therefore hurting or diminishing another is diminishing your self and your loved ones.

    For me learning to live a like like that has made all the difference. Thank you for reminding me of that again.



  14. linnea abella says:

    hello mr paulo! ;p

    i would just like to ask about your logo or symbolism, if you dont mind, is that an inverted cross? what does that mean? and what does your logo mean?

    thank you.;p

    i am your avid reader…im currently reading your book “like the flowing river”… its very beautiful. every single page is awesome. i like the manuels’ story. ;p

    and i hope ur fine and wish to see you soon.;p

    the symbol is the sun (light) and the sword (warrior). Love, Paulo

  15. fLUXman says:

    bo0om paulo,
    if god today walked on earth in us, we would need that somebody reminding us that gos loves us.mankind is now on the brink of a metamorphosis the realm of the mind is now begun, have you also had the deja-vu of suddenly an idea popping up in your head and the next moment you see a similar idea on tv. thats how close we are to the realm of god. with the advent lsd, and governments taking control of that project I am sure this is already happening, we are just too busy to realize our true self ( don’t forget that we are ever changing ). lots of love to all . YES, god loves YOU,
    u 2 – ;-),

  16. Glingló says:

    Once a driver of a car behind me go impatient and gave me taste of what his horn sounded, he got around my car and to tease him I let him hear mine. At trafficlights we came to a stop side by side and looked at each other, I could see he was preparing himself for getting a finger or something so I blew him a kiss. He was so surprised and relieved he opened the window and yelled “I love You” before taking off.

    I want to recommend you sth. To read a book. The title is Scarlet Feather and the author is Joan Grant.

  17. aditya says:

    That was good credit should go to that chap who spoke of love, that lady who listened to it and also others who gave it a chance. U have been in fairy crazy situations in your life, what is your personal expereince; does a voice of sanity win over insanity, does love triump over evil, I am not asking what should be, I am asking you & others here on this site, as to what is tehir personal expereince.

  18. clover says:

    very nice, we all need those magic spells at times.



  19. Brandon Timothy Mark Sweat says:

    Funny how a little word like love can affect the reality around you. What if we did not let one day pass, in which we did not tell each person we cared deeply for that we loved them; at least once a day. That would surly change the way the world spins round. I just watch this quasi science show on how thought, words, and prayers can actually affect water molecules. The expierment was based upon people meditating certain energies of idea upon a glass of water. They would freeze the water and study the crystal patterns. The same water was used in each experiemnt and each were frozen at the same temperature. The only difference was the meditation of energy on each and each were different in symblance to what was meditated upon them. Love was ornate and beutiful in crystal formation. Hate was split, divided and grotesque in crystal formation. Ect. Considering we are made up mostly of water, 85%, how do our thoughts and words affect our being and the beings of those around us in the most intimate of ways.

    Many blessings,