Humi always wants more

By Paulo Coelho

(adapted from a story sent by reader Shirlei Massapust)

Many years ago there lived in Japan a young man called Humi, who made his living breaking stones. Although strong and healthy, he was not happy with his lot and complained day and night.

On Christmas day he prayed fervently and his guardian angel finally appeared before him.

– You are healthy and you have a full life ahead of you, – said the angel. – All the young people start by doing something. Why are you always complaining?

– God has been unfair to me and hasn’t given me the chance to grow, – answered Humi.

Concerned, the angel sought out the Lord to ask for help so that his protégé would not end up losing his soul.

– As you will, said the Lord. – Since it is Christmas, all that Humi wants will be granted.

On the following day Humi was breaking stones when he saw a carriage pass by bearing a noble covered in jewels. Wiping his sweaty, dirty brow with his hands, Humi said bitterly:

– Why can’t I be a noble too? That’s my destiny!

– That you shall be! – murmured his angel with immense joy.

And Humi was transformed into the owner of a sumptuous palace and many estates and always surrounded by servants and horses. Every day he would parade with his impressive retinue and he liked to see his old companions lining the streets and looking at him with respect.

On one such afternoon, the heat was unbearable and even under his golden sun-shade Humi was sweating just like he did in the days when he broke stones. Then he realized that he was not all that important, for above him there were princes, emperors, and even above all them was the sun, who obeyed no-one, for it was the true king.

– Ah, my angel! Why can’t I be the sun? That is to be my destiny! – complained Humi.

– That you shall be! – exclaimed the angel, hiding his sadness at such pretension.

And Humi became the sun, for that was his wish.

While he shone in the sky, admired for his gigantic power of ripening the crops or else burning them as he felt the whim, a black spot began to approach him. The dark shadow grew bigger and bigger and Humi noticed that it was a cloud spreading all around him and making it impossible for him to see the Earth.

– Angel! – shouted Humi – The cloud is stronger than the sun! My fate is to be a cloud!

– That you shall be! – answered the angel.

Humi was transformed into a cloud and thought that his dream had come true.

– I am powerful! – he shouted out, darkening the sun.

– I am invincible! – he thundered, chasing the waves.

But along the desert coast of the ocean rose up an immense rock of granite as old as the world. Humi thought that the rock was defying him and worked up a storm that the world had never before cast eyes on. The enormous, angry waves beat away at the rock trying to tear it up out of the soil and toss it far into the depths of the sea.

But the rock stood firm and impassive in its place.

– Angel! – sobbed Humi – the rock is stronger than the cloud! My lot is to be a rock!

And Humi was transformed into a rock.

– Who can beat me now? – he asked himself. – I am the most powerful in the world!

And so many years passed by until one morning Humi felt a sharp nudge in his stone entrails, followed by a deep pain as if a part of his granite body had been dilacerated. Then he heard dull, insistent blows and once again the gigantic pain.

Fear-crazed, he began to roar out:

– Angel, somebody’s trying to kill me! He’s more powerful than I am, I want to be like him!

– That you shall be! – exclaimed the angel in tears.

And that is how Humi went back to breaking stones.

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  1. i like totes because they are big and u can put a lot of stuff in it i use one for school to put my books and other stuff like hairspray and makeup

  2. Everyone wants to feel important, powerful and loved, and we always think the grass is greener on the other side.

    What a wonderful story!

    Thank you kisses,

  3. Kasturi says:

    Isn't that like most of the people?
    no ones quite very happy about being whoever/whatever they are..but wonderful story here,afterall we are all what we deserve to be,and what is best for us!!to like what you do and what you are,is surely a key to happiness.we've always known this-contentment gives everything.


  4. Mark says:

    My best friend lived very similar to Humi. But my friend was not able to experience the cyclical resolution that Humi eventually discovered. My friend killed himself last weekend. Maybe he asked to become the sun…but I would rather see him breaking stones.

  5. sido says:

    je remercie dieu de ce que je suis et sais la chance que j’ai d’íªtre ce que je suis …. je bénis chaque jour et chaque instant qui me sont proposés ( míªme si parfois j’ai éloigné “la coupe” qui m’avait été tendue , car il est parfois difficile de vivre certaines choses )

    dans mon agenda , pour que jamais je n’oublie ,et que je ne cesse de le partager avec les autres , il est écrit en première page :

    Pour que chaque jour ne ressemble pas étrangement aux autres jours , il faut
    mais tu sais , on n’a que les joies que l’on donne , et/ou plutí´t que celles que l’on s’autorise ( í  donner et í  recevoir et í  partager ) et c’est lí  toute la clé du bonheur

    bonheur í  tous

  6. Brigit says:

    So often “who am I?” is answered with “what am I” as the career or role one has, as well as ones ambititions. We are all valuable and powerful. We all have some sort of an impact on everything around us, not just because of the career we have, or how much money have, but because of who we are and how we choose to have that impact. This story reminds us of our own value, our own power and perhaps it’s directing us to step outside our own self-obsession, look at our own lives from a different perspective, to see the true value and potential of our individuality.

  7. Marie-Christine says:

    Quelle chance j’ai!

  8. Xalbedo says:

    Your story sounds nice Paulo, but does it suggest we should keep breaking stones?

  9. T.K. says:

    coming full circle can be an awesome life-altering revelation.

  10. Davis Bear says:

    In some way we all are Humi… and Paulu Coelho too :)
    With Love, Davis

  11. Gina Re says:

    …and the TRUE NAME of “Humi” is Paulo Coelho!!! :-D :-PPP

  12. Alexandra says:

    This is an example that we cant predict what and how would be our faith even if part of it would be changed.

  13. Savita Vega says:

    Once upon a time there was a guru, with many disciples. Every day he overheard them talking amongst themselves, complaining about their lot in life, moaning about this or that misfortune. Finally, after many years of this, he grew angry and decided to do something about it, and so, called all his disciples together at a big assembly: “Tomorrow is your lucky day,” he told them. “I want you all to meet back here, and bring with you all of your bad karma, because I’m going to take it from you.” Now, as all among them knew, any enlightened guru has the power to lessen or even transmute the karma of his devotees. So, at this announcement, the disciples were delighted. They left, dancing with joy. “Finally,” they declared, “We are going to have the good life we deserve.” So, at daybreak the very next day, they all appeared before the guru, each disciple carrying a large sack slung across his or her back filled with all the bad karmas they hoped to be rid of. “Now,” announced the guru, “I want you to lay down your burdens here before me in a large pile.” With smiles on their faces, the disciples did as they were told. “Okay, good,” said the guru. “Now, I want each of you to come forward again and pick a bag, any bag, and that will be your new lot in life. Since each of you thinks that your own burdens are the hardest to carry, I’m going to allow you to get rid of your own burdens and adopt someone else’s that are easier and less of a burden.” All the disciples just stood there and stared. They weren’t smiling any more.

    When all was said and done that day, each and every disciple left carrying the same bag of burdens that they had arrived with that morning. Each decided, at last, that his or her lot in life was not so bad after all.

    Such we should remember any time that we open our mouths to complain, thinking that our challenges in life are more monumental than our neighbors’. We should stop for a moment and imagine ourselves trading lives with any one of our fellows – would we really wish to do that? And, in comparison, do our challenges really seem that burdensome after all?

    The reason, if given the choice, we would eventually choose again our own karmas, or own lot in life, is because the challenges tied up in that particular bag are uniquely suited to our individual soul – they are the specific challenges that we need to face at this time in order to grow.


  14. THELMA says:

    The desires.. materialized and then …he found out that it was not what he …really wanted!!
    So we have to be very thoughtful and careful with our Will-desires, when they eventually … become … flesh, we may be disappointed! Let HIS WILL be done.

  15. sido says:

    chaque personne a sa place dans ce monde ( et son rí´le í  jouer ) comme chaque pièce d’un puzzle …
    mais parfois nous ne voyons pas qui nous sommes , l’importance de ce que nous faisons et le meilleur pour nous
    ainsi comme beaucoup de personnes , l’homme voyage vers différents pays et cherche í  connaí®tre et í  voir ce qui est différent í  cí´té ( chez nos voisins ) ; ainsi en vivant la différence , on peut comprendre notre unité et la valeur unique de ce que nous sommes
    (comme Humi dans l’histoire présenté par Paulo Coelho : il faut connaí®tre d’autres choses , d’autres possibilités pour ce rendre compte de la “chance ” de ce que nous sommes et des possibiltés que nous avons en nous )

    espérance et foi

  16. Kasturi says:

    Isn’t that like most of the people?
    no ones quite very happy about being whoever/whatever they are..but wonderful story here,afterall we are all what we deserve to be,and what is best for us!!to like what you do and what you are,is surely a key to happiness.we’ve always known this-contentment gives everything.