Satan sells used objects

By Paulo Coelho

Needing to adapt to the new times, Satan decided to get rid of a whole lot of his stock of temptations. He placed an ad in the newspaper and attended his customers all day in his workshop.

It was a fantastic stock: stones for the virtuous to stumble over, mirrors for increasing one’s self-importance, and spectacles that reduced the importance of others. Some objects hanging on the wall drew a lot of attention: a dagger with a curved blade to be used on someone’s back, and tape-recorders that registered only gossip and lies.

– Don’t worry about the price! – shouted old Satan to the potential customers. – Take it home today and pay for it whenever you can!

One of the visitors noticed two tools lying in a corner that seemed to be quite worn and attracted little attention. But they were very expensive. Curious, he wanted to know the reason for that apparent discrepancy.

– They are worn because they are the ones that I use most of all – answered Satan with a laugh. – If they drew a lot of attention, people would know how to protect themselves.

– However, they are both worth the price I am asking for them: one is Doubt, the other is the Inferiority Complex. All the other temptations can sometimes fail, but these two always work.

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