Do not accept minor misdeeds

By Paulo Coelho

The teacher asked his disciples to go and find something to eat. They were travelling and could find no proper food.

The disciples came back later that afternoon. Each brought with him the little he had gleaned from other people’s charity: rotten fruit, stale bread, sour wine.

However, one of the disciples returned with a bag of ripe apples.

‘I will always do all I can to help my teacher and my brothers,’ he said, sharing out the apples with the others.

‘Where did you get them from?’ asked his teacher.

‘I had to steal them. People only wanted to give me leftovers, even though they know that we preach the word of God.’

‘Leave us this minute and take your apples with you, and never come back,’ said the teacher. ‘The ends never justify the means, however noble those ends might be. If you steal for me today, tomorrow you might end up stealing from me.’

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