Our Yearly Dementia Test – only 3 questions

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It’s that time of year for us to take our annual senior citizen test.
Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it’s important to keep mentally alert. If you don’t use it, you lose it!
Below is a very private way to gauge how your memory compares to the last test. Some may think it is too easy but the ones with memory problems may have difficulty.
Take the test presented here to determine if you’re losing it or not.
The spaces below are so you don’t see the answers until you’ve made your answer.
OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

 

 

 

Answer: ‘bread.’ If you said ‘toast’ give up now and do something else..
Try not to hurt yourself.
If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say ‘silk’ five times. Now spell ‘silk.’ What do cows drink?

 

 

 

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said ‘milk,’ don’t attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading more appropriate literature such as Auto World.
However, if you said ‘water’, proceed to question 3.

3. Without using a calculator – You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales. In London, 17 people get on the bus.
In Reading, 6 people get off the bus and 9 people get on.
In Swindon, 2 people get off and 4 get on.
In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on.
In Swansea, 3 people get off and 5 people get on.
In Carmarthen, 6 people get off and 3 get on.
You then arrive at Milford Haven..

Without scrolling back to review, how old is the bus driver?

 

 

 

 

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud!
Don’t you remember your own age?
It was YOU driving the bus!!

If you pass this along to your friends, pray they do better than you.
PS: 95% of people fail most of the questions!

sent by Keith Parkins

Being attentive

The warrior of the light knows the silence which precedes an important battle.

And this silence seems to say: “things have stopped. Better forget the fight, and enjoy oneself a little.”

Inexperienced combatants put down their weapons at that moment, and complain about the boredom.

The warrior is attentive to the silence; someplace, something is happening. He knows that destructive earthquakes come without warning. He has walked through forests at night; whenever the animals make no noise at all, danger is near.

While the others talk, the warrior practices his swordsmanship and pays attention to the horizon.

12/10 Viva N. Sra. Aparecida!

NS_Aparecida

Our Lady of Aparecida (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora Aparecida or Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida) is a celebrated 18th-century clay statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the traditional form of the Immaculate Conception. The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Roman Catholics, who consider her as the principal patroness of Brazil.[1] Pious accounts claim that the statue was originally found by fishermen, who miraculously caught many fishes after invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The dark statue is currently housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida, São Paulo. The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil celebrates her feast day every October 12. Since the basilica’s consecration 1980 by Pope John Paul II, it has also been a public holiday in Brazil. The Basilica is the fourth most popular Marian shrine in the world,[3] being able to hold up to 45,000 worshippers.[2]

The image has merited the Papal sanction of Pope Pius XI in 1929 by declaring her shrine as a minor Basilica, and by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980, who reiterated the patronage of Brazil under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

The statue has also merited worldwide controversy in May 1978, when a Protestant intruder stole the clay statue from its shrine and broke it into pieces, and another in 1995, when a Protestant minister slandered and vandalized a copy of the statue in national Brazilian television.

To read the full story, please CLICK HERE

I don’t want to offend you

You only understand the power and importance of forgiveness if you had been forgiven. The short story below illlustrates this:

During a pilgrimage to a sacred place, a holy man began to feel the presence of God. In the midst of a trance he knelt down, hid his face and prayed:
“Lord, I ask for only one thing in life: that I be given the grace of never offending you.”

“I cannot grant you that grace,” answered the Almighty. ‘If you don’t offend me I shall have no reason to pardon you. If I have no need to pardon you, soon you will also forget the importance of mercy towards others.

“So go on your way with Love and let me grant pardon now and again so that you don’t forget that virtue as well.”

Kandinsky on painting

“Painting is an art. And art is a power that should be aimed at developing the soul. If art does not do this job, the abyss that separates us from God is left without a bridge.

The artist owes his talent to God and has to settle this debt. To do this, he has to work hard, know that he is free in his art but not in his commitment to life. Everything he feels and thinks is part of the raw material with which to improve the spiritual atmosphere around him.

Beauty, whether in art or in a woman, cannot be empty; it has to be at the service of humankind and the world.”

——————————-

“A pintura é uma arte. E a arte é um poder que deve ser destinada ao desenvolvimento da alma. Se a arte não faz esse trabalho, o abismo que nos separa de Deus permanece sem uma ponte.

O artista deve o seu talento a Deus, e precisa saldar esse débito. Para fazer isso, ele tem que trabalhar duro, saber que ele é livre em sua arte, mas não em seu compromisso com a vida. Tudo o que ele sente e pensa é parte da matéria-prima com que irá melhorar a atmosfera espiritual à sua volta.

Beleza, seja na arte ou em uma mulher, não pode estar vazio, tem de estar ao serviço da humanidade e do mundo. ” (trad. Mari Raphael)

It is never too late

At one of the most tragic moments of the Crucifixion, one of the thieves noticed that the man dying beside him was the Son of God.

‘Lord, remember me when You are in Heaven’, said the thief.
‘In truth, today you shall be with me in Heaven’, answered Jesus, turning a bandit into the first saint of the Catholic Church: Saint Dimas.

We don’t know why Dimas was condemned to death. The Bible tells us that he confessed his guilt and that he was crucified for the crimes he had committed.
Let us suppose that he did something cruel, awful enough to end his life in that fashion; yet, even so, in his final minutes of life, he was redeemed – and glorified – by an act of faith.

Remember this example when for some reason you feel unable to continue on your path. It is never too late

Read the signs

God uses loneliness to teach us about living together.
Sometimes he uses anger so that we can understand the infinite value of peace.

At other times he uses tedium, when he wants to show us the importance of adventure and leaving things behind.
God uses silence to teach us about the responsibility of what we say.
At times he uses fatigue so that we can understand the value of waking up.
At other times he uses sickness to show us the importance of health.

God uses fire to teach us about water.
Sometimes he uses earth so that we can understand the value of air.
And at times he uses death when he wants to show us the importance of life.

Read the signs.

Faith is for everybody

Go on doing what you do, but try to put love in every gesture: that will be enough to organize your quest.

Usually we do not lend value to the things we do every day, but those are the things that change the world around us. We think that faith is a task for giants, but just read a few pages of the biography of any holy man and you will discover an absolutely ordinary person – except for the fact that they were determined to share the very best of themselves with others.

Many emotions move the human heart when it decides to dedicate itself to the spiritual path.
This may be a “noble” reason – like faith, love of our neighbor, or charity.
Or it may be just a whim, the fear of loneliness, curiosity, or the fear of death. None of that matters.

The true spiritual path is stronger than the reasons that led us to it and little by little it imposes itself with love, discipline and dignity. A moment arrives when we look backwards, remember the beginning of our journey, and laugh at ourselves. We have managed to grow, although we traveled the path for reasons that were very futile.

Advice

People who are part of our daily life can give us important hints on decisions we need to take.
But for this purpose all that is needed is a sharp eye and an attentive ear, because those who have ready solutions are usually suspect.

It’s very dangerous to ask for advice. It’s very risky to lend advice, if we have a minimum sense of responsibility towards the other person.
If they need help, it’s best to see how others resolve – or don’t resolve – their problems. Our angel often uses someone’s lips to tell us something, but this answer comes casually, usually at a moment when we do not let our worries overshadow the miracle of life.
Let our angel speak the way he is used to, which is at the moment he deems necessary.

Advice is just theory; living is always very different.

Don’t try to be coherent all the time; discover the joy of being a surprise to yourself.
Being coherent is having always to wear a tie that matches your socks. It means being obliged to keep tomorrow the same opinions you have today.
What about the world, which is always in movement? As long as it doesn’t harm anyone, change your opinion now and again, and contradict yourself without feeling ashamed – you have a right to that.

The Bridge: Adultery

Adultery released April 10, 2014 is the Paulo Coelho’s new novel and his sixteenth book to be published. Although in the United States the released date was on April 19, 2014 in English and Spanish and is published by Knopf. The book has become a best seller in Amazon, Coelho is best known for his book The Alchemist which was published in 1988 reaching international fame and became a world’s best seller. Reaching 65 million copies sold worldwide The Alchemist was translated into 56 different languages making the Brazilian born author an instant hit breaking Guinness World Record for books translated into 56 languages by a living author.

I have to be honest with the readers, the first time I saw the book I was reluctant to read it because of the title. But as I saw people reading the book mostly, everywhere I went and even seeing people posting pictures and comments of the book on social media I got intrigued. So I decided to read it, and see what all the fuss was about. I decided to write an Article about the book and I promised myself I would be completely honest about my thoughts. After reading the first few pages I was hooked.

Adultery is a must read, the book is so well written that you feel an instant connection to the character of the story. The book is not about passion and love it is more about adrenalin and the desire to change. Psychologically speaking the book takes you into the mind of the women who has it all the perfect life, the life most people dream of achieving in their life time. Her life is so perfect that to Linda (the main characters name) life has lost its thrill. Linda is a top Swiss Journalist who is happily married to a rich Swiss investor who loves her very much they have two wonderful kids the perfect home and every luxury money can buy. On one of her interviews with a famous author one response changes her life forever. “I haven’t the slightest interest in being happy. I prefer to live life passionately, which is dangerous because you never know what might happen next.” This answer turns Linda’s world upside down and starts feeling the urge to question her life. Battling with depression, boredom, and envy her perfect world is threatened when she has to interview one of her old boyfriends who is now a top politician. The urge to glance at her past threatens her present and future but will she give in or resist her urges and will these urges threaten to become an addiction in which there is no coming back from?

After reading the book several question comes to mind. We aspire to become someone, we attend a university and engage in a courier we love. We set up goals for ourselves and imagine pretty much how we want our life to be. But what happens after all your goals have been accomplish? When your life is exactly the way you envision it? When nothing holds excitement, nothing is new anymore and your life becomes ordinary and lacks excitement. What are we supposed to do then? This book takes you exactly to that moment in life and we live vicariously through Linda’s life.

Adultery is a great book and is one of our recommended books for all to read this month. If you have a chance to read Adultery we would like to know what you think about the book. We would love to hear from you.

By Leonardo D. Hernandez
On September 26, 2014

1 min reading: The mechanism of terror

An old legend tells of how a certain city in the Pyrenees mountains used to be a stronghold for drug-traffickers, smugglers and exiles. The worst of them all, called Ahab, was converted by a local monk, Savin, and decided that things could not continue like that.

As he was feared by all, but did not want to use his fame as a thug to make his point, at no moment did he try to convince anyone. Knowing the nature of men as well as he did, they would only take honesty for weakness and soon his power would be put in doubt.

So what he did was call some carpenters from a neighboring town, hand them a drawing and tell them to build something on the spot where now stands the cross that dominates the town. Day and night for ten days, the inhabitants of the town heard the noise of hammers and watched men sawing bits of wood, making joints and hammering in nails. At the end of ten days the gigantic puzzle was erected in the middle of the square, covered with a cloth. Ahab called all the inhabitants together to attend the inauguration of the monument.

Solemnly, and without making any speech, he removed the cloth.
It was a gallows. With a rope, trapdoor and all the rest. Brand-new, covered with bee’s wax to endure all sorts of weather for a long time.

Taking advantage of the multitude joined together in the square, Ahab read a series of laws to protect the farmers, stimulate cattle-raising and awarding whoever brought new business into the region, and added that from that day on they would have to find themselves an honest job or else move to another town. He never once mentioned the “monument” that he had just inaugurated; Ahab was a man who did not believe in threats.

At the end of the meeting, several groups formed, and most of them felt that Ahab had been deceived by the saint, since he lacked the courage he used to have.
So he would have to be killed. For the next few days many plans were made to this end. But they were all forced to contemplate the gallows in the middle of the square, and wondered: What is that thing doing there? Was it built to kill those who did not accept the new laws?
Who is on Ahab’s side, and who isn’t? Are there spies among us?

Little by little the rebels’ initial courage was replaced by fear; they all knew Ahab’s reputation, they all knew he was implacable in his decisions. Some people abandoned the city, others decided to try the new jobs offered them, simply because they had nowhere to go or else because of the shadow of that instrument of death in the middle of the square. One year later the place was at peace, it had grown into a great business center on the frontier and began to export the best wool and produce top-quality wheat.

The gallows stayed there for ten years. The wood resisted well, but now and again the rope was changed for another. It was never put to use. Ahab never said a single word about it.

Its image was enough to change courage to fear, trust to suspicion, stories of bravado to whispers of acceptance.

- Paulo Coelho, “The Devil and Miss Prym”

The word

The word

The word is the final intention of someone who wishes to share something with his neighbour.

William Blake said: all that we write is the fruit of memory or the unknown.
If I can make a suggestion, respect the unknown and look there for your source of inspiration.

The stories and facts remain the same, but when you open a door in your unconscious and let yourself be led by inspiration you will see that the way to describe what you have lived or dreamt is always far richer when your unconscious is guiding the pen.
Every word leaves a memory in your heart – and it the sum of these memories that forms sentences, paragraphs, books.

Words are as flexible as the tip of your pen, and they understand the signs on the road.

Sentences do not hesitate in changing course when they make a discovery, when they spot a better opportunity.
Words have the same quality as water: they go around rocks and adapt to the river bed, sometimes turning into a lake until the depression has filled up and they can continue their journey.

Because when words are written with feelings and the soul, they do not forget that their destination is the ocean of a text, and that sooner or later they have to arrive there.

Your pen

All the energy of thinking is eventually shown in the nib of a pen.

Of course, here we can substitute nib by ballpoint, computer keyboard, or pencil, but the nib of a pen is more romantic, don’t you think?
To get back to the theme: words eventually condense an idea.

Paper is just a support for this idea.
But the pen will always remain with you, and you must know how to use it.

Periods of inactivity are necessary – a pen that is always writing ends up losing the awareness of what it is doing.
So let it rest whenever possible, and concern yourself with living and meeting your friends.

When you return to the business of writing, you will find a happy pen with all its strength intact.
Pens have no conscience: they are an extension of the writer’s hand and desire.

They serve to destroy reputations, make us dream, send news, trace pretty words of love.
So always be clear about your intentions.

The hand is where all the muscles of the body, all the intentions of the person writing, all the effort to share what he feels, are concentrated.
It is not just a part of his arm but an extension of his thought.

Hold your pen with the same respect that a violinist has for his instrument.

Thy neighbour’s garden

YOU can give a fool a thousand intellects, but the only one he will want is yours,’ says an Arabic proverb.
When we start planting the garden of our life, we glance to one side and notice our neighbour is there, spying.
He himself is incapable of growing anything, but he likes to give advice on when to sow actions, when to fertilize thoughts, and when to water achievements.

If we listen to what this neighbour is saying, we will end up working for him, and the garden of our life will be our neighbour’s idea.
We will end up forgetting about the earth we cultivated with so much sweat and fertilized with so many blessings. We will forget that each centimeter of earth has its mysteries that only the patient hand of the gardener can decipher.
We will no longer pay attention to the sun, the rain, and the seasons; we will concentrate instead only on that head peering at us over the hedge.

The fool who loves giving advice on our garden never tends his own plants at all.

-from the book, “Like the flowing River”,

Super Soul Sunday (Part 2)

My interview with .@Oprah
Part 1 (Full episode, Sep 07)

“What made you nervous about Adultery?”

Interview by Joy Horowitz for Goodreads

Paulo Coelho is a man of contradiction. The 67-year-old Brazilian author is an unparalleled success—known for his 1988 bestseller, The Alchemist, which is the most translated book in the world by a living author—yet he sees himself as a dreamer and a depressive. His parents committed the rebellious youth to an asylum three times, and as a lyricist whose songs were critical of his country’s military rule in the 1980s, he was imprisoned and tortured. Still, he remains a joyous man, married to the same woman for 35 years and deeply grateful for “surviving the tempests” of change that have permitted him to publish one novel every two years.

To date, he has written 30 books, including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, The Valkyries, The Witch of Portobello, and Brida. In his new novel, Adultery, a journalist and wife and mother in her late thirties confronts the monotony and melancholy of her perfect life when she bumps into her high school boyfriend—and soon risks everything to rediscover her true self. Goodreads author and interviewer Joy Horowitz spoke with Coelho, who splits his time between Rio de Janeiro and a country house in the Pyrenees Mountains of France, about his new book, how his astonishing 21.4 million Facebook followers and 9.4 million Twitter followers played a hand in its genesis, and why choosing to live a safe and comfortable life may be the worst thing we can ever do.

GR: What made you nervous about writing this book?
PC: Nothing. Nothing.

GR: Really?
PC: The title. Yes, because people say, “Nobody will buy your book called Adultery and give it to his wife or husband or mother.” I said, “Sorry, that’s the title of the book, and it can’t change.” The reviews in Amazon are very mixed, many 5 stars and many 1 star, but that is part of life. I need to be honest to myself and write what I feel I should write

GR: I would think it would be the opposite. I would think you’d have huge sales for a book called Adultery.
PC: [Laughs] So far the book is doing extremely well. It’s number one on the bestseller list in all countries it’s been released, including here in France. Then people tease me a little bit, “Oh, my wife didn’t want me to read this book.” It’s funny, because a lot of men are reading this book.

GR: Why did you decide to make your protagonist a woman?
PC: Because it is more difficult to accept adultery in a woman than in a man. I don’t know why, but people take for granted that men are unfaithful. But women in general never would do this terrible thing. So I said, OK, let’s hear the woman’s voice on the subject.

GR: I’m curious—why is her husband nameless?
PC: Many times you have books with a lot of names, and you start getting confused. I don’t think I gave a name to the wife of the politician. Oh, yes, yes, she has a name. I don’t remember the name, but she has a name.

GR: Do you like writing sex scenes?
PC: They’re not the main part of the book. But I love to write the sex scenes, because I like to write her inner moments or her moments of joy.

GR: Is that more of a male or female fantasy?
PC: It can be both to have this fantasy. We both have this fantasy.

GR: Do you think that depression and betrayal go hand in hand?

PC: Let me tell you how I decided to write this book. In the beginning I was thinking about discussing something that was relevant to people, because I have this huge social community on Facebook and Twitter and GooglePlus. Look at my page on Facebook and you will see. But I said, I’m so famous, so popular, why not discuss something that would be relevant? I thought that depression is the main issue of today. So I said, OK, I’m going to post something about depression, and I want you to interact with this. I’m not going to mention your name. Please send your experiences and opinions to this email. In 24 hours I got more than 1,000 answers. Out of the 1,000 answers, I heard about clinical depression. Many said, “I’m depressed because somebody betrayed me.” The problem is not the lack of pharmachemical components in your body. The problem is people feel betrayed, and life loses its meaning. So I said, OK, let’s talk about betrayal.
But it was overwhelming how people would answer me. And the extent of the written posts [was so great] that I thought I’d do a book. So I started going to forums—anonymously, of course—to check how people react and how people regret, one of the key issues. The first impulse is, “I’m going to get a divorce and I’m going to separate because I’ve been betrayed.” But then they regret. A one-night stand is a one-night stand. So little by little this book started as interactive posts. Then I sat down and wrote a book based on the experiences of people.

GR: The book is really a meditation on marriage and how it’s constantly in flux.
PC: I’ve been married for 35 years. I’m walking here in the countryside now with my wife by my side. And at the end of the day, she is a completely different person, physically and mentally, from the person I married 35 years ago. So am I. But people normally marry, and then they want that locked in time, so they think they’re not going to change. We’re going to change. Everybody’s going to change. So accepting that changes are part of our lives makes marriage a blessing and not a curse, because love is stronger than anything else.

GR: In the book you write, “Love isn’t just a feeling. It’s an art. And like any art, it takes not only inspiration but also a lot of work.” What do you mean?
PC: Giving space for the other to grow. Controlling jealousy that leads to nowhere. Basically, I think these issues are the key to surviving the tempests. Are you married?

GR: Yes, for 37 years.

PC: So you know what I’m talking about.

GR: One of the pivotal issues in the book is the protagonist’s recognition of her being alone—whether we love to avoid dealing with our own loneliness in the world.
PC: This is a sensation I have. So probably I was projecting myself because sometimes, regardless what you do, there are moments you have these things to give, to share, but people don’t understand. They say, “But you’re so successful. You have a lot. You have money. You have fame.” Sometimes this is not enough. Sharing is the basis of everything.

GR: The book is also about aging: “After a certain age, we put on a mask of confidence and certainty. In time, that mask gets stuck to our face and we can’t remove it.” Is that part of the monotony, the ritual, the boredom you write about relative to marriage?

PC: Probably the fear of monotony. You go to these parties, and everybody seems so happy. It just drives me crazy. I don’t go to parties, by the way. But when I’m forced to go and everybody is smiling and happy, I know it’s hypocrisy. When I go to these celebrity parties with all these actors and actresses, they’re always smiling to each other, but they really want to kill the other.

GR: That jealousy is an important motivating factor in the book.
PC: Absolutely. The consequence. A one-night stand is totally different from an adulterer’s relationship. People can understand or hide if you went to bed with someone else. But adultery lies in passion, and passion is something that’s harder to share. You really feel you are being cheated.

GR: Goodreads member Joyce Rigal writes, “In your book your protagonist is dissatisfied even though she has everything, because she isn’t living her truth. Have you experienced a moment in your life when you weren’t living your truth, and how did you find the clarity and courage to live it?”

PC: The answer is yes, and it was in 1986. I had everything. I had money. I had the same wife I have now. I was a successful composer and lyricist, but I was not happy. Then I decided to walk from France to Spain—the road to Santiago de Compostela, a site of Catholic pilgrimage. At the end of this spiritual journey, I said either I forget my dream of being a writer or I write my first book (Pilgrimage), which I did. But it’s not easy. You have to choose between being joyful (but not necessarily happy) and facing your challenges or trying to live a comfortable life and being safe. The second choice is the worst, because you can’t feel safe. Nothing is safe. A thunderbolt could hit me and I could die. So nobody can be safe: You don’t know when you’re going to die. So better to choose the agony and ecstasy of living a life that fulfills you.

GR: Goodreads member Holland says, “Thank you for writing your books. They have added magic to my life. How do you think dreams serve us in life? How do you use dreams in your books and why?”
PC: Dreams are what justify life. Dreamers are people who really changed this world. I believe in dreams. I followed mine. I paid a very high price at the given moment, but I do not grieve. I think a person without dreams is a tree without roots. So dreams are the language of God. Dreams, for me, are my daily bread.

GR: Goodreads member Anthony Karakai writes, “Today’s marketplace is dominated by romance and thrillers, and it appears that magical realism—outside of your novels—is not as strong as it was in the ’80s and ’90s. Where do you see the genre going?”

PC: It is true that we’ve lost this connection with magical realists because they [publishers] thought maybe this was not politically correct, that people would not read it. I’m only speaking for myself. This is the way for me to express myself. So the person who asked this question—he’s totally right. Magical realism is about not having evidence for everything. And at the end of the day this is the reality. Because emotions are much more powerful than what’s happening around you. You are guided by your emotions.

Witches

“We women, when we’re searching for a meaning to our lives or for the path of knowledge, always identify with one of four classic archetypes.

“The Virgin (and I’m not speaking here of a sexual virgin) is the one whose search springs from her complete independence, and everything she learns is the fruit of her ability to face challenges alone.

“The Martyr finds her way to self-knowledge through pain, suffering, and surrender.

“The Saint finds her true reason for living in unconditional love and in her ability to give without asking anything in return.

“Finally, the Witch justifies her existence by going in search of complete and limitless pleasure.”

in Brida


“You came here because you saw a female face in the flames. That face is the face you see now in the mirror, so try to honor it. Don’t let yourself be weighed down by what other people think, because in a few years, in a few decades, or in a few centuries, that way of thinking will have changed. Live now what others will only live in the future.

“What do you want? You can’t want to be happy, because that’s too easy and too boring. You can’t want only to love, because that’s impossible. What do you want? You want to justify your life, to live it as intensely as possible. That is at once a trap and a source of ecstasy. Try to be alert to that danger and experience the joy and the adventure of being that woman who is beyond the image reflected in the mirror.”

in “The Witch of Portobello”

The perfect leader

A reader sends me a questionnaire in which he presents the profile of three world leaders who lived in the same period of history, and asks if it is possible to choose the best one using the following data:

Candidate A was associated with witch doctors and often consulted astrologists. He had two mistresses. His wife was a Lesbian. He smoked a lot. He drank eight to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B never managed to hold down a job because of his arrogance. He slept the whole morning. He used opium at school, and was always considered a bad student. He drank a glass of brandy every morning.

Candidate C was decorated a hero. A vegetarian, he did not smoke. His discipline was exemplary. He occasionally drank a beer. He stayed with the same woman during his moments of glory and defeat.

And what was the answer?

A] Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

B] Winston Churchill.

C] Adolf Hitler.

So what, then, is leadership? The encyclopedia defines it as an individual’s capacity to motivate others to seek the same objective. The bookstores are full of texts on this theme, and the leaders are normally portrayed in brilliant colors, with enviable qualities and supreme ideals. The leader is to society as the “master” is to spirituality.

This, however, is not absolutely true (in either case). Our big problem, especially in a world that is growing more and more fundamentalist, is not allowing people in prominent positions to commit human mistakes.

We are always in search of the perfect ruler. We are always looking for a pastor to guide and help us find our way. The truth is that the great revolutions and the progress made by humanity were brought about by people just like us – the only difference being that they had the courage to make a key decision at a crucial moment.

A long time ago, in my unconscious, I changed the word “leader” for the expression “warrior of light”. What is a warrior of light? Warriors of light keep the spark in their eyes. They are in the world, are part of other people’s lives, and began their journey without a rucksack and sandals. They are often cowards. They don’t always act right.

Warriors of light suffer over useless things, have some petty attitudes, and at times feel they are incapable of growing. They frequently believe they are unworthy of any blessing or miracle.

Warriors of light are not always sure what they are doing here. Often they stay up all night thinking that their lives have no meaning.

Every warrior of light has felt the fear of joining in battle. Every warrior of light has once lost faith in the future. Every warrior of light has once trodden a path that was not his. Every warrior of light has once felt that he was not a warrior of light. Every warrior of light has once failed in his spiritual obligations.

That is what makes him a warrior of light; because he has been through all this and has not lost the hope of becoming better than he was.

That is why they are warriors of light. Because they make mistakes. Because they wonder. Because they look for a reason – and they will certainly find one.

“I can’t pray alone”

Just when she is rejected by everyone as crazy or possessed by the devil, Saint Teresa of Avila meets the Jesuit Francisco de Borja.

“I can’t pray alone,” she says. “I need to seek the memory of the Creator in the fields, in water, or in the flowers. Prayer is a hard task for me, like drawing water from a well.

“At first I manage to draw just a few drops, and these soothe the dryness of my soul. But little by little the bucket fills up, and I have increasingly less work to water these spiritual fields. Finally the moment arrives when this water turns into rain, and the Creator waters my soul, without me doing any work at all.”

“Well, don’t forget to read this book of the Creation,” answers Francisco de Borja.”There, in nature, is where the Father has written his best lines.”
 
 

Oprah Winfrey interview Part I

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FULL EPISODE: Oprah and Paulo Coelho, Part 1 – VIDEO HERE

Part II: Next Sunday, Sept 14, Paris: 17:00
Worldwide simulcast at 11 a.m. NY; 11am LA; 7pm London; 11:30pm New Delia; 3am Tokyo; 4am Sydney;
Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires 12:00 hr ; Colombia 10:00 hr
#SuperSoulSunday

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