How the path was forged

By Paulo Coelho

In issue nr. 106 of Jornalinho, (Portugal), I find a story which teaches us much about that which we choose without thinking:

One day, a calf needed to cross a virgin forest in order to return to its pasture. Being an irrational animal, it forged out a tortuous path full of bends, up and down hills.

The next day, a dog came by and used the same path to cross the forest. Next it was a sheep’s turn, the head of a flock which, upon finding the opening, led its companions through it.

Later, men began using the path: they entered and left, turned to the right, to the left, bent down, deviating obstacles, complaining and cursing – and quite rightly so. But they did nothing to create a different alternative.

After so much use, in the end, the path became a trail along which poor animals toiled under heavy loads, being forced to go three hours to cover a distance which would normally take thirty minutes, had no one chosen to follow the route opened up by the calf.

Many years passed and the trail became the main road of a village, and later the main avenue of a town. Everyone complained about the traffic, because the route it took was the worst possible one.

Meanwhile, the old and wise forest laughed, at seeing how men tend to blindly follow the way already open, without ever asking whether it really is the best choice.

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Comments

  1. eva says:

    if a mouse doesnt find any cheese on the same path for like five times, she will choose another path.
    A human could wait for “cheese” for twenty years and more…

  2. […] How the path was forged – Paulo Coelho […]

  3. SanityFound says:

    Such a beautiful parable, so true in this day and age as we progress society is still stuck on old archaic choices and decisions, one would swear that some still believe the world to be flat! Thanks so much for sharing this one…

  4. eva says:

    if a mouse doesnt find any cheese on the same path for like five times, she will choose another path.
    A human could wait for “cheese” for twenty years and more…

  5. Liara Covert says:

    Wisdom grows when one realizes how to listen to the self at the core and doesn’t disregard intuition. To choose to assume what has already been done is not the only way is also to ascertain what external forces believe or judge about you doesn’t matter. Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is a poem I memorized in grade 6. I remember it to this very day.

  6. Spillay says:

    I love this post!! Isn’t it funny how we see this happening in real life EVERYDAY. And the saddest thing is, when someone attempts to take the “road less taken”, they are usually looked down upon by society either as a ‘trouble-maker’ or a ‘no-hoper’. When will we ever learn?