The neighbor and the trees – Part 2

Paulo Coelho

[...]

When he leaves, my first reaction is to accuse him of insensitivity and disrespect for Mother Earth. Then I become intrigued: why did he not accept to sell the land? And before the day comes to an end I understand that his life has only one story, and my neighbor does not want to change it. To move into town also means to plunge into an unknown world, with other values that perhaps he feels too old to learn.
Does this only happen to my neighbor? No, I feel that it happens to everyone – sometimes we are so attached to our way of life that we turn down a great opportunity because we don’t know how to use it. In his case, his farm and his village are the only places he knows, and it is not worth the risk. In the case of people who live in the city, they believe that it is necessary to have a university degree, get married, have children, make sure they have degrees too, and so on. Nobody ever wonders: “could I do something different?”
I remember that my barber worked day and night so that his daughter could finish her degree in sociology. She managed to finish university, and after knocking on many a door she finally found a job working as a secretary in a cement company. Even so, my barber always said with pride: “My daughter has a university degree.”
Most of my friends, and the children of my friends, also have a university degree. That does not mean they have managed to work at what they wanted – quite the contrary, they entered and left university because – at a time when universities were important – someone said that for a person to get anywhere in life, they had to have a university degree. And so the world missed out on having excellent gardeners, bakers, antique dealers, sculptors and writers. Maybe it is time to look at this again: doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers, they all have to study at university. But does everyone else? I shall let Robert Frost’s poem give the answer:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by
And that made all the difference.”

P.S. To end the story of the neighbor: the expert paid us a visit and to my surprise showed us a French law that says that trees have to stand at least three meters from the property of others. Mine stand at two meters, so I am going to have to cut them down.

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Comments

  1. Elias says:

    Fire goes out without wood, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops. Proverbs 26:20

  2. No….. what a shame!

    so what was the Real problem? there must be another way to salvage the situation…

    Once the trees are cut, will he be able to see in your yard? tell him that if you cut the trees down, he’ll be able to see your yard, and that you dance naked everyday… LOL

  3. Ross Martin says:

    All very dangerous ground.I can see this new anti degree world developing into a boiled down into a ‘freedom v state’ political argument.
    Universities are founded on the philosophy of freedom to think,discover,learn….they have attracted free thinkers since time began. Please dont decry Universities,their work and what they stand for based on what we see in todays media celebrity driven world.
    I admit I am somewhat biased as I live in the the sunlit shadows cast by the Oxford UK spires.

  4. Nanci says:

    I’m so sorry about the trees! I’m sure that if they knew they were going to be cut down at a future date they would have set down their roots a bit further back…but, sometimes we just don’t know what the future will bring.

    I’ve been thinking today about so many things. Tomorrow I start a brand new job, one that is outside of my field. I have a degree and have taught as an instructor at university. My new job will be as an administrative assistant for a program that deals with literacy in grade schools in my state. It is a huge stretch for me, both mentally and emotionally, but it is a job that I hope I will be able to do well and to come home each night knowing that I had some small part in helping children to become better at reading and maybe even foster the love of reading that I have in some small way.

    So, I guess I’m a good example of someone with a graduate degree that is taking that road which, so far, has been unexplored. I will keep you posted on this perhaps from time to time as it is in keeping with one, no, actually two of my New Year’s intentions, to imagine my life in a different way being open to all possibilities and also to master my fear of change.

    I read a small book by Thomas Merton called “Thoughts in Solitude” and one of the things I carried away from that reading is the reminder that in order to live, action is required. In his book, Merton says, “A purely mental life may be destructive if it leads us to substitute thought for life and ideas for actions. The activity proper to man is not purely mental because man is not just a disembodied mind. Our destiny is to live out what we think, because unless we live what we know, we do not even know it. It is by making our knowledge part of ourselves, through action, that we enter into the reality that is signified by our concepts.”

    Makes sense…Action-acquired knowledge is relevant to our human experience.

  5. Alexandra says:

    Sure we are not all made for the same job,and it takes courage to change it if we realize is not the right one.Is pretty hard if you invested feelings,time,money in it. I thought only in my country exist this problem, no more skilled chefs, bakers, carpenters. But we had a different past, was the communists to make run away the skilled one abroad, so no one to teach the new generation.Also I remember how in past kings brought skilled Italian masters if they wanted a good job. Dont know why the Italians have such a strong tradition.

  6. THELMA says:

    Regarding the free-space-distance between two properties, I think the Law must speak about ‘buildings’ that must leave at least 10feet between your boundaries and the same applies for the neighbour. Regarding trees in order to cut a tree you must get a permission from local authorities even when the tree belongs to you!Of course we speak for .. European Cyprus !!
    The leaves from trees may not be ..harmful, but when a .. drainage is blocked then …
    I feel obliged to disagree with you, dear Paulo Coelho, regarding your offer for buying his land! Money cannot buy everything! It seems that the people next to you love their place and cannot .. dream of anything else. The older you are the more difficult is to change your life.. I think time is going to solve your problem.. After all how many years do we live??
    There is a Greek quote: ‘It is better to have a bad year, than a .. bad neighbour’. ;]
    LOVE,
    Thelma

  7. aditya says:

    wow !! so mnay responses, that was fast and a bit furious too.

    as some ladies here have suggested paulo u can always think of alternatives before chopping down the trees ! the suggestion of byuing a strip of land 1 m wide or if possible even 2 or 3 m wide ( so that neighbour does not have to rake leaves ), seems best, i am sure as a good neighbour u can impress upon him your love for trees, pruning offending branches may be a good idea.

    second option which came to my mind too was to replant them, its very much possible !!

    now on the ‘philosphy’ the funda behind the sharing od story. while i too feel that we should travel, change places and explore. i am intrigued by story of few enlightned masters !

    raman maharshi was an enlightned master he never left his ashram, never. ramkrishna was not too fond of going from place to place. so long as travelling / chnaging place helps one in one’s inner journey it’s great 1 but the moment it becomes the distractor from embarking / pursuing our imnner journey, one should beware.

    in this i am like that little boy, i hold your hand and am walking with you but i am looking over my shoulder at those who i cited above.

    love
    aditya

  8. Anna M says:

    MIT,

    acabo de leer su comentario, y lo respeto. Pero me parece que tal vez a malinterpretado a Paulo.
    Yo entiendo perfectamente que usted se sienta muy orgullosa de su título universitario, yo también lo estaría, ya que como dije anteriormente, deseo estudiar medicina. Pero creo que lo que Paulo quizo decir es que la sociedad establece un modo de vida como “normal” o “correcto”: graduarse de secundaria, ir a la universidad, casarse y tener par de hijos, trabajar y trabajar y luego jubilarse.
    Lo que el yo pienso que quiere decir es que si bien este modo de vida funciona para muchas personas, esto no significa que porque es la tendencia de la sociedad entonces es lo que TODOS estamos supuestos a hacer, como quien dice “lo que se espera de nosotros”. Mientras que haya pasión en lo que hagamos, aunque esto sea – como usted ha dicho – ir todos los días a la misma oficina y realizar el mismo trabajo, si ésta pasión en realidad existe entonces sus días no serán iguales y encontrará el instante mágico en todos sus días.. Todos somos diferentes y si bien unos servimos para la universidad, hay otros que no, y creo que esto es lo que Paulo quiere decir: no sigas un modo de vida porque es lo que la sociedad espera de ti, sino sigue un modo de vida porque es lo que tu esperas de ti”

    No se si me explique bien.

    Saludos,

    Anna M

  9. Anna M says:

    BY THE WAY!!! what an awful thing that the three has to be cutted off, specially since tomorrow (april 22) is the Earth’s Day.. what a bad new!

  10. Anna M says:

    Hello everyone,

    Alex Sandra Uk,

    You sould be really proud of yourself. I really admire you because I can guess it was not easy, but even though, you conquered fear and achieved your own meaning of happiness.

    Savita,

    LOVED your post… I’m 17 years old and I’m currently on my senior year and I’m SO SCARED, I don’t want to be one of those people worrying about fulfilling society’s expectations instead of their own. I’m sure I want to become a doctor because I just feel a PASSION for the whole medicine stuff, but I also want to travel, so my idea of an ideal future would be to be a doctor helping other people around the world. That’s my dream, but I’m scared because I don’t want the power of ambition to make me forget what I truly want.

    Plus, I just can’t believe how society has established certain patterns for “normality”: normal music to listen, normal clothes to wear, normal way to grow up (high school, college, marriage, kids, etc). It’s unbelievable to me… And everyone who is brave enough to break the mold and unfollow this patterns is considered a “weirdo”.
    I don’t care because I have been thinking and I see how this “mold-breakers” are the ones who mark the difference in our world, but it’s still a bit disturbing though.

    WISHING YOU LOTS OF LOVE AND SUNSHINE,

    Ana m

  11. nagualero says:

    what a waste… we kill our elders for no important reason,…

    shame on us … shame in the laws…

  12. CA says:

    Querido Paulo,

    Eu me identifiquei muito com suas palavras em relação ao diploma.
    Não pude completar minha faculdade, e minha mãe sempre mostra com muita clareza a insatisfação dela quanto à isso, e me diferencia das outras pessoas que têm diploma. Um dia, estava no Brasil na casa de meus pais e estava saindo ver uma dentista que estudei junto no segundo grau e minha mãe a fazer muitos comentarios de como ela era bem sucedida pois era diplomada, que ela terminou a faculdade, que a formatura foi linda, etc. Quando cheguei ver esta pessoa, conversando com ela, ela me disse que talvez viesse me visitar, pois a prima dela estava morando aqui tb (neste momento entendi na França) e logo depois ela acrescentou que não tinha certeza pois a passagem pra Australia era muito caro.. eu respondi que não estava na Australia, e ela me disse que como era do lado ela poderia vir, na verdade ela não sabia que não se tratava do mesmo continente.
    Minha geografia tb não é das melhores e de forma alguma me senti superior em saber uma coisa que esta pessoa desconhecia, mas também não me coloco inferior as pessoas que tem curso superior. Acho que temos que buscar realizar nossos sonhos e isso é o mais importante. Esta pessoa esta realizada profissionalmente com seu consultorio montado numa cidade do interior e ela é feliz assim. Eu não poderia ser feliz assim, e o importante é que cada um siga seu caminho pra felicidade.
    Um diploma não garante realização profissional. Logo depois de abandonar minha faculdade, eu montei um negocio que ganhava muito mais do que se ja estivesse formada, e eu estava realizada, estava feliz com que eu fazia. Isso é o mais importante.
    Hoje quando penso que abandonei minha faculdade não me arrependo, porém quero voltar a estudar, fazer cursos complementarios, estudar linguas, sinto esta necessidade. Mas sei que pra me realizar profissionalmente eu não dependo de nenhum diploma, e sim de meu cerebro, de minhas ideias e de meus sonhos.

    MARG,

    Ca

  13. CA says:

    Querido Paulo,

    Sinto muito pelas arvores. As vezes eu me pergunto qual é realmente o intuito das pessoas em certas circunstâncias tais como esta… se o problema era o telhado, e você se dispos a pagar, normalmente ele deveria se tranquilizar e a situação estaria resolvida. Mas parece que as vezes a situaçao estar resolvida facilmente não agrada a certas pessoas. Mesmo havendo possibilidade de simplificar as coisas, elas vão até o fim de complicar ainda mais não se preocupando de forma nenhuma com as consequências, que neste caso foi a destruição das arvores. Sinto muito mas no meu ponto de vista oque esta pessoa queria proteger era o ego, e não o telhado da casa.

    MARG,

    Ca

  14. Sherry says:

    Thank you Paulo for bringing attention to how attached we become to what we think is important. This kind of inflexibility leads to suffering, especially when we find out that we were not as “right” as we thought we were. And the suffering gets deeper when what everyone believes to be true isn’t any more…

    Here’s to busting out of all of those well-accepted beliefs!

    Love,
    Sherry
    http://evolutioninconsciousness.blogspot.com/

  15. kealan says:

    I don’t know if my comment made sense there… I’m not sure I understood the question lol

  16. kealan says:

    For me this blog is a meeting place for like minded people… Who gives a damn if the same thing is written here every day? It’s a social place, it’s a blog. And the same thing is not written here every day, if I search I always find somebody’s comment to reply to and to interact; there is always new material here. No I never went to collage or I never wanted to! I followed my path, I get work, and I’m allowed to do things not many other men can do. I’m not a retard, I follow one of the most famous men in the world, and although I am not his personal friend he takes the time to speak to me, as a reader that is a wonderful thing. The blog is updated 260 days a year, that’s 260 times more than any other writer in the world. When I read between the lines of the books, sure I can see how, why it was written… and that’s part of the game, isn’t it? I found my way through the lines to the truth, to the underlying lie that makes it all make sense! Why not write a book in three weeks, it’s how Coelho makes his money, that’s what he dose for a living, I mean (and I will not use the word retard) what type of idiot cannot understand that.

  17. Heart says:

    I am sorry about those trees! I don’t know if you heard in Norway, a man was so annoyed at his neighbor trees that he drilled holes in them, poisoned the trees, and the trees died. This man was arrested and convicted for his crime.

    My heart also goes out to your old neighbor. Of course at his age, why would he want a big change? My grandmother lived all her life on a farm, always dreaming about the small town, where all the important people lived. After my grandfather died, she actually went ahead and bough an apartment for herself in town. At first she found it exciting, and seemed happy about it. But after awhile she became very unhappy, and her new apartment was like a prison for her. She ended sitting constantly on the phone, demanding her daughters, who lived in different cities, to talk with her for hours. She couldn’t move back, as her grandson had taken over the farm. I was very sad for her last years. She wasn’t the loving grandmother she used to be anymore. Her dream of coming to town had been more of an illusion, of some values in life, she really didn’t care for. I remember once visiting her, we went for lunch at a place called ‘Crazy Horse’. My grandmother seemed to enjoy sitting there in her fine dressed up clothes, but god, compared to the days we had at my mothers childhood home, I was just saddened by it.

  18. Marielle says:

    Oh no, probably not one of my brighter ideas. He’ll still have leafes on his roof.

    Duh

    Love
    Marielle

  19. Marielle says:

    Dear Paulo,

    Is it not possible to buy one metre of his land? That way he does not have to move out of his safety zone and he gets some money, and you don’t have to cut the trees!

    Love

  20. Irina Black says:

    Compromise.The art and science to minimize risks of “Geschlechtsleben” and “Gefuhlsleben”.(About Thinking)

  21. MIT says:

    Dear Paulo

    I want to comment that I disagree with his words, that why people do not change their way of seeing the world, adapt to their routines. In this case you are off to write a diary on this blog, with which objective?

    We all want that kind of comfort, we can not be a day on a road and then cross another road overnight. I have a college degree and I am proud of my dedication and commitment that I had, I have a job to attend every day and almost the same as I do every day. Now I’m doing a Masters degree and plans to continue studying.

    For things in this world it is necessary to improve learning. He said that universities continue to be important, more work is needed. Everything you write in this blog, with all the respect and admiration that I have is repetitive, did not invent anything.

    I can tell you that part of their success may have started from their faith in God, and the way that adapt in his books, in addition, people who read his books are mostly people who do not have a goal in life, people who stayed for some restarded point as you usher explains.

    And I realized that it is not as open and democratic as it claims to be, why delete the comment that I wrote in the space to write reviews?

    We all have something to fight because if you chose to read and write well for you. Until this is repetitive. I have the feeling why You lasts a maximum of three weeks to write a book, and that does not support the routine, I understand.

    Until then ….

  22. Liina.L says:

    Sometimes law’s can be funny. Although on most times they have a purpose. And because of the changing of laws, in a changing society, sometimes the things that were legal will become illegal one day. We never know what may be banned tomorrow. But at the same time we have to live in today.

    ~*~*~*~
    The poem You wrote in Your post:
    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and
    I took the one less traveled by
    And that made all the difference.”

    It represents the view that we all should have. We all have to make our own life, our own “world”! Sure, we can have idols or people who we look up to on our journey to that, but in the end we should decide and make the plan and take the action on things that WE love, need, desire, look for.
    As we say in Estonia: we are the blacksmiths of our own luck. Also we are the blacksmiths of our own lives. What we decide or do will affect our life. We COULD go with the flow in the meaning of following someone else’s path, but the honest and true way is to find Your own. If it happens to be also someone elses path – that’s great! But concentrate on Your own needs and wantings, and don’t blindly follow another (some person).

    That is something what I feel strongly about.

    Much love and the knowledge of finding Your own road/path.
    And if You have found it – good luck on the journey!

    Liina L.

  23. MIT says:

    Estimado Paulo

    Deseo comentar que no estoy de acuerdo con sus palabras, de que por qué las personas no cambian su forma de ver al mundo, se acomodan a sus rutinas. En este caso usted esta acomodado a escribir a diario en este blog, con cual objetivo ?

    Todos deseamos ese tipo de comodidad, no podemos estar un día en un camino y luego cruzar a otro camino de la noche a la mañana. Yo tengo una título Universitario y me siento orgullosa de mi dedicación y entrega que tuve, tengo un trabajo que asisto todos los días y prácticamente es lo mismo que realizo a diario. Ahora estoy realizando un Master degree y pienso continuar estudiando.

    Para que las cosas en este mundo mejoren es necesario aprender. Le comento que las Universidades continuan siendo importantes, es necesario profundizar mas. Todo lo que usted escribe en este blog, con todo el respecto y admiración que le tengo es repetitivo, no inventó nada.

    Puedo decirle que parte de su éxito es posible que haya empezado a partir de su fe en Dios, y la foma en que lo plasma en sus libros, además, las personas que leen sus libros son en la mayoría las personas que no tienen una meta en la vida, personas que se quedaron resagadas por algun punto acomodador como usted bien lo explica.

    Y me he dado cuenta que no es tan democratico y abierto como dice ser, por qué eliminó el comentario que le escribí en el espacio para escribir comentarios ?

    Todos tenemos algo porque luchar, si usted eligió leer y escribir, bien por usted. Hasta eso es repetitivo. Me da la impresión el por qué uste dura tres semanas como máximo para escribir un libro, y es que no soporta la rutina, lo entiendo.

    Hasta luego….

  24. Maggie says:

    Why don’t you cut off the culprit branches –or– excavate the tree and move it closer to your property?

    If you were able to consider buying the man’s property, you can surely hire someone to save the tree. It is sad to cut it down. There are other choices.

  25. Breda says:

    Change and upheaval can be scary at any age..we tend to not think of positive outcomes!
    Well the French law covered that one-I hope the upheaval of cutting the precious trees is not to difficult for you Paulo,
    love ,
    Breda

  26. Savita Vega says:

    First, let me say that I am very sorry for your trees, Paulo. It must be a very difficult thing to have to cut them. I do think that trees have a “being” beyond just the physical. Often around my house, we speak of the trees having “spirits.” I happen to think that some of these spirits can be malefic, such as the un-natural fast-growth hybrid pines growing near my house, which I feel are intent upon smothering out everything else that lives here, including myself. They are the enemy of the indigenous oaks and other hardwoods that attempt to grow here and which are defenseless against them, so I take it upon myself to do battle with them. But that is beside the point – your trees have done nothing to warrant the cutting of them, and I am shocked that this man, who has spent his whole life in contact with nature, would insist they be cut, all for the sake of a few roof-tiles, which might or might not be harmed by falling leaves.

    As for the rest of your post, and those who never ask, “Could I do something else?”: Well, just this past Saturday I attended my high-school reunion. Twenty-four years have passed since our high-school graduation, and this is the first time that I have seen most of these people since then. The first thing I noticed is that the majority of them look old, and tired. I do not mean this to sound judgmental in the way that it might seem – I am not suggesting that I look young by comparison, although many say that I do. This could easily be genetic. My father has always looked young for his age; even at seventy-four he looks like a man in his mid-sixties. What I am speaking of is a certain sense of “heaviness” that I felt distinctly as I walked into that room full of my former classmates. Some energy that was not only heavy but thick, filled that room full of people. Walking through it was like wading through thick molasses syrup. I wondered where this “heaviness” came from and what caused it. I could almost see it weighing down upon their shoulders – they looked like people carrying very heavy, though invisible, loads upon their shoulders. Many seemed almost to hunch over under the weight of it.

    Many of these people, most in fact, have never left this small town that they grew up in. They simply followed the path as it had been laid out for them by their family and their society: they married right after high-school, most within the first two years after graduation, they immediately started having children – most had several – and, as a result of this early start, many are now grandparents. Some of their grandchildren are the same age as my first and only daughter! Most did not pursue an education beyond high-school, and if they did, it was only a technical school, for the purpose of preparing them to be able to do a certain specified job – radiologist, nurse, teacher, mechanic, secretary, security guard, and so on. I talked to many of them at great length about what they had been doing over the past twenty-four years, and what I noticed, above all, was a marked lack of anything that might be deemed a “dream.” These people didn’t have dreams, they had “jobs.” They were to busy for silly things like dreams. Most had assumed a certain job right after high-school and had kept that same job for all these many years. They may have moved up within the company they were employed by, but they had never experimented at all with other options in life. They had taken the “safe path” – finding a job near-by that paid a sufficient salary to support their growing families, and then just staying with it, unendingly, whether they actually enjoyed it or not. Most of the women were in either nursing or teaching, or otherwise held some sort of secretarial position. Most of the men worked either in the timber industry, which is a big part of the economic base in this region, or at one of the oil refineries located nearby, also a major employer in this area.

    I did not hear a one of them speak of failures. Not one of them said: “I tried to do this big thing – I set out to follow this dream I had – and fell flat on my face.” They didn’t say this, because, as I said, they had chosen, from the start, the “safe and sure” path. They had worked very hard all their lives, no doubt, but they had not taken risks. My story was so different from their own, I almost felt silly telling it: “Well, I tried this for a while, then I changed over to that, then I decided to go back to school and become something else,” and on and on…. My life is a series of ups and downs, major triumphs and tragic failures. Charted out on a topographic map, my life would resemble the Himalayas – all steep peaks and narrow, perilous valleys. Not a flat line in sight. Their lives, I realized, were more like the Great Plains – a landscape in which one picks out a point on the horizon and simply navigates toward it in a straight line: the journey is measured solely in distance traveled; there are no obstacles. “I’ve worked for Wal Mart for twenty years now.” “Oh really? Me too! I did the same thing – I’ve been working out at the prison for twenty-one years now.” And another: “Yep, I’ve been on at the refinery since the summer after we graduated – be twenty-four years this coming June.”

    All of them seemed to be looking forward to retirement – already! And I haven’t even figured out yet, with certainty, what it is that I’m doing in this life. I’m still on a path of discovery. In contrast, what I noticed about most of my former classmates is that they are no longer “becoming” anything – they just are what they are, and that is it. Their course in life is set in stone. They don’t have big dreams, or if they do, they certainly didn’t speak of them. Instead, they have pensions and retirement funds, to which they are contributing on a monthly basis. The thing they are most looking forward to in life is not the realization of their dream, but an end to the drudgery to which they have condemned themselves.

    After I left that room, and especially after I went home and contemplated in a while, I realized the source of that energetic “heaviness” I felt when I first walked in. It is no wonder that they look old and tired, I thought – most stopped living, really living, a very long time ago. Now they are surviving, biding their time, waiting to retire. And then what? Will they then “begin living?” By then they will be old, and consequently, as usually comes with age, they will be even more afraid of taking risks then they are now.

    To live without dreams is suffocating, I think – it is like to take the soul and place it, like a bird, under glass. The spirit cannot survive without a constant supply of fresh oxygen. When the spirit within us withers, we do look old – we feel old, and tired. No new clothes, no matter how trendy, and no amount of make-up can cover this up. When the spirit within us does not glow with the light emanating from our Personal Legend, we look old and tired no matter what we do to prevent it. Conversely, one who is following the path of their dreams, one who is ever hot on the trail of their Personal Legend, glows from within. They never look old – our dear Paulo Coelho, for example, who never looks his age, but appears as a man much younger than his years. When I see videos of Paulo, he always seems to have a spring in his step; his every gesture has a certain liveliness to it; a sense of energy and purpose pervades and permeates his whole person. There is nothing “old” about him – he seems to be outside of time – because he has found the secret fount for which Ponce de Leon and others searched so hard for so many centuries: his Personal Legend, his awareness of it, and his continued search to fulfill it IS that fabled Fountain of Youth.

    So:
    “Two roads diverged in a wood, and
    I took the one less traveled by
    And that made all the difference.”

    Love to all!
    Sincerely,
    Savita

  27. B*Sofie says:

    Degrees & laws….hm

    I`ve just read that poem in your book ;)

    I guess nobody has ever travelled my
    spesific journey – because it`s – mine
    Oh how I`ve been struggling, making mistakes
    learned, grown – and finally in the middle of my 36th year
    seeing those experiences leading me to my very own path –
    and calling* (without any university degree)

    To bad with those trees –
    if they`re worth fighting for –
    do it, in the true, smart & loving P. C. way!

  28. Grrr says:

    Paulo, votre voisin a peur de voir son toit être abîmé, vous lui avez proposé de payer son toit, mais c’est trop loin dans le temps, donc vous pouvez encore lui louer son toit pour vos branches ou une parcelle de terrain en échange de son toit. Ou couper les branches effectivement. Mais uniquement les branches pas les arbres. Cela peut faire du bien aux arbres de les élaguer.

  29. Alexandra says:

    Oooh, poor trees…I feel sorry for them. Cruel neighbor.
    About the story of useless degrees , I will see things bit different.I do agree is not anymore a sure thing you got good job if you have one university degree. But, is hard when so many, and I saw many of my mates, use unfair roads to get it. Starting from copying, taking essays from Wiki, or who knows which critic and signing it as own work and research. This is at Master in Arts degrees. Than they barely read a book in English language, but they go to work as teachers in school.At least not at high school, but still.
    Nowadays a good job is available with many degrees, masters, universities. I will say one never end that whole process. The thing I dislike is that many male managers try to force a lady to be his mistress in order to have a job or a better wage. This happened even to me, not top model not twenty. But to my friends too, ex mates in faculty. What they think, we are their property already? Sort of slaves?
    I will never repent I was studying at faculty, I was so much appreciated by almost all professors.I miss those years.The things I did learn there changed my life, I see things in a different way.
    I recognized myself in Chaucer “The Canterbury Tales” in one character.Was a scholar always ready to study …
    Love, Alexandra

  30. Jane Gaston says:

    What a wonderful observation as to why the neighbor didn’t want to sell his property to you. I suspect you are absolutely correct as change is very difficult for a lot of people, most especially the elderly.

    Frankly, I think there are people born who were never meant to attend university; perhaps those are our creative gardners, bakers, etc.

    Thank God for those willing to take a risk and go down the road less traveled!

    P.S. So sorry the trees must come down.

  31. Alex Sandra Uk says:

    I enjoyed this story, thank you.

    It reminds me of where I live. Most of my family and friends have university degrees. I did not attend university. Through choice but also through circumstance. At quite a young age I found I was expecting a baby. I could have then chosen other paths, but I knew this was my path. I worked very, very hard, learned skills, tried new things and soon developed my own business so I could work for myself. I now have a very successful business which means I am my own boss and also have many choices in my life which I would not have if I work for others. My business works well, not through the education I received, but through the many many lessons of life I learned along the way. I chose a different path, which was scary at times, but it always felt the right thing to do, so I followed my instincts to take risks and develop.

    My daughter leaves school this year. There is pressure on her from others to attend college/university. However, she is half way through writing an novel which, although I am biased, I think it is excellent. So, this year, instead of going on to further education, she will be concentrating completely on finishing her book and getting it published. I know she will do it and if she doesn’t succeed straight away, she has the confidence and determination to keep on trying until she does.

    Thank you Paulo for always giving us the confidence to believe what we already know inside.

    Although college and university may be good for some, it is not the path for all. As we have found.