The importance of looking – Part 2

Paulo Coelho


“I sell churches.”

I stood astonished as he continued:

“I am employed by the Vatican to select buyers, since there are more churches than churchgoers in Holland. And since we have had awful experiences in the past, seeing sacred places turned into nightclubs, condominiums, boutiques and even sex shops, we changed our sales system. The project has to be approved by the community and the buyer must say what he is going to do with the property: as a rule we accept only proposals that include a cultural center, a charity institution or a museum.

“So what does that have to do with your talk, and the others that I am trying to organize? People are no longer meeting one another. When they do not meet, they do not grow.”

He looked me straight in the eye and concluded:

“Meetings. That was precisely my mistake with you. Instead of sending a bunch of e-mails, I should have shown right away that I was made of flesh and blood. When I failed to get an answer from a politician, I went and knocked on his office door and he told me: “If you want something, first of all you have to show your eyes.” That’s what I have done ever since then and I have had nothing but good results. We can have all the available means of communication in the world, but nothing, absolutely nothing takes the place of the human look.”

Of course, I finally accepted his proposal.

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