The most dangerous part

By Paulo Coelho

A king gathered together a group of wise men to decide which was the most important part of the body. The endocrinologist declared that it was the glands because they regulated all the bodily functions; the neurologist said it was the heart because, without it, the glands would not work. The nutritionists assured him it was the stomach because, without food, the heart would not have the strength to beat.

The wisest of all the wise men listened in silence. Since they could not reach an agreement, they asked his opinion.

‘All those parts are essential for life,’ he said. ‘If one of them is lacking, then the body dies. But the most important part does not actually exist: that is the imaginary channel that links the ear and the tongue. If there are any problems with this channel, the man starts saying things he did not hear and then, not only the body dies, but the soul is condemned for ever.’

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