Mojud and the inexplicable life

By Paulo Coelho

Mojud was a civil servant in a government department in a small town in the interior. He had no prospect of ever getting a better job, the country was going through a major economic crisis, and he had resigned himself to spending the rest of his life working eight hours a day and trying to enjoy himself in the evenings and at weekends, watching television.
 
One afternoon, Mojud saw two cockerels fighting. Feeling sorry for the creatures, he strode into the middle of the square to separate them, not realising that he was interrupting a cockfight. The angry spectators attacked Mojud. One of them threatened to kill him because his cockerel had looked set to win, and he would have won a fortune in stake money.
 
Mojud was afraid and decided to leave town. People were surprised when he did not turn up for work, but since there were several other candidates for the post, they soon forgot all about the former civil servant.
 
After travelling for three days, Mojud met a fisherman.
 
‘Where are you going?’ asked the fisherman.
 
‘I don’t know.’
 
Touched by Mojud’s situation, the fisherman took him home with him. After a night of talking, he discovered that Mojud knew how to read and so he proposed a deal: he would teach the new arrival to fish in exchange for lessons in reading and writing.
 
Mojud learned how to fish. With the money he earned by selling the fish, he bought books with which to teach the fisherman to read. By reading, Mojud learned things he had never known.
 
For example, one of the books was about joinery, and Mojud decided to set up a small workshop.
 
He and the fisherman bought tools and went on to make tables, chairs, shelves and fishing tackle.
 
Many years passed. The two men continued to fish and they spent their time on the river observing nature. They both continued to study, and the many books they read revealed to them the human soul. They both continued to work in the joinery, and the physical work made them healthy and strong.
 
Mojud loved talking to the customers. Since he was now a wise, cultivated, healthy man, people came to him for advice. The whole town began to make progress because everyone saw in Mojud someone who could find effective solutions to the region’s problems.
 
The young men in the town formed a study group with Mojud and the fisherman, and then told everyone that they were the disciples of two wise men. One day, one of the young men asked Mojud:
 
‘Did you give up everything in order to devote yourself to the search for knowledge?’
 
‘No,’ said Mojud, ‘I ran away from the town where I lived because I was afraid of being murdered.’
 
Nevertheless, the disciples learned important things and passed them on to others. A famous biographer was summoned to write the lives of the Two Wise Men, as they were now known. Mojud and the fisherman told him the facts.
 
‘But none of that reflects your wisdom,’ said the biographer.
 
‘No, you’re right,’ replied Mojud, ‘but the fact is that nothing very special happened in our lives.’
 
The biographer wrote for five months. When the book was published, it became a huge best-seller. It was the marvellous and exciting story of two men who go in search of knowledge, give up everything they are doing, do battle against adversity and encounter obscure and secret teachers.
 
‘That’s not what it was like at all,’ said Mojud, when he read the biography.
 
‘Saints must lead exciting lives,’ replied the biographer. ‘A story must teach something, and reality never teaches anything.’
 
Mojud gave up trying to argue with him. He knew that reality teaches a man everything he needs to know, but there was no point in trying to explain.
 
‘Let the fools live with their fantasies,’ he said to the fisherman.
 
And they continued to read, write and fish, to work in the joinery, to teach their disciples and to do good. They both promised, however, never to read any more lives of saints, because the people who write such books do not understand one very simple truth: everything that an ordinary man does in his life brings him closer to God.
 
(Inspired by a Sufi story.)

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Comments

  1. Tyler says:

    Once again, I find myself amazed, Mr. Coelho.

    Is there a possibility that I could possibly post some of your Daily Messages on a website I am working on?

    Ofcourse you will be credited properly and links will direct people to this blog, and your other sites. You are just able to say things that I dream of one day portraying, and I only hope that I can get others to love your writing like I do.
    You have many fans in Canada already, but I'll see what I can do to make it more!

  2. Ben says:

    Inspiring story and one I love, I’ve heard a lot of different versions but the guts are the same.

  3. Myzpax says:

    Ensinar é dar para sempre.

    Desconhecido

  4. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo and friends,

    People so often forget the life is the best teacher. They would realise this if they started to look at their own lives, everyday, they would discover that each day holds many lessons. People often assume that because one is wise or a saint they must have done something exciting, taken some sort of risk, and lived like no normal person would. The truth is however, that any normal person could become a saint or wise, by looking simply at life. The media often spins stories so that it sells, its all about money, and they forget about the truth. They forget that they are deceiving people who want to learn of others who have listened to life. These people who’d read these lies, will think less of themselves, in the sense that they being ‘normal’ cannot be wise. Once again money comes before the truth. And money comes before helping man kind.

    thank you for being
    Yajna

  5. Tyler says:

    Once again, I find myself amazed, Mr. Coelho.

    Is there a possibility that I could possibly post some of your Daily Messages on a website I am working on?

    Ofcourse you will be credited properly and links will direct people to this blog, and your other sites. You are just able to say things that I dream of one day portraying, and I only hope that I can get others to love your writing like I do.
    You have many fans in Canada already, but I’ll see what I can do to make it more!

  6. agnieszka says:

    Dear Paulo,
    As You wrote in your book – DIARY OF THE PILGRIM -
    “extraordinary things happen on the paths of ordinary people”.
    When our lives are not easy and we have many obstacles,
    (as long as it’s not too much and we’re strong enough) we change for the better.
    But of course there is this saying: “God will not give us the cross we cannot handle”.
    So everything that happens on our way is for a reason.
    Also I love this: King Salomon asked God to give him mind to distinguish good from bad.!!!

    - sometimes GOD gives us SOMEBODY LIKE YOU!!! to help.
    THANK YOU, FOR YOU

  7. Aniq says:

    We’re always amused by other people’s life – be it yours, celebrities, royalties, etc….albeit our own exciting life events. I bet you get amused too when other people is fixated with yours and wishing it gets biographed..to which I’d say you should. I think deep down each of us know that we each are just simple people but a little fantasy helps…just to assist others to survive. This tale is a great example.