8 important points about life

taken from a post by Gina Senarighi. To read the full post, CLICK HERE

Today let’s look at eight beautiful Life Changing Lessons to learn from the inspirational author, Paulo Coelho. Notice how beautifully these lessons align with the data on what actually makes people happy long-term.

We are all here for a purpose.
“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
“Everybody has a creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”

The only thing standing between you and your dream are your fears.
“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Mistakes are part of life.
“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.”

Do not seek love outside of you.
“Love is not to be found in someone else but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person.”

When you change, the whole world changes with you.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

Mind your own business.
“Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
“We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”

Nobody’s responsible for how you feel or don’t feel.
“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”

Embrace your authenticity

“You must be the person you have never had the courage to be. Gradually, you will discover that you are that person, but until you can see this clearly, you must pretend and invent.”
“If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.”

Change

Those who think that the mountains don’t change are wrong: they were born out of earthquakes, are eroded by wind and rain, and each day they are slightly different, even though we do not notice that change.

The mountains change and are pleased: ‘It’s good not to be the same all the time,’ they say to each other.

Those who think the trees don’t change are wrong.
They have to accept that they will be bare in winter and clothed in summer.
And they reach beyond the place where they were planted, because the birds and the wind scatter their seeds.

The trees are glad. ‘I thought I was just one tree and now I see that I am many,’ they say to their children springing up around them.

One question persists as we take our first steps along the path: ‘Will my decision to change make other people suffer?’

But if you love someone, then you want your beloved to be happy. You might feel frightened for him initially, but that feeling soon gives way to pride at seeing him doing what he wants to do and going where he always dreamed of going.

 

(taken from the book “Manuscript found in Accra”)

April 23, Viva Saint George!

200px-Stgeorge-dragon

It is likely that Saint George was born to a Christian noble family in Lod, Syria Palaestina during the late third century between about 275 AD and 285 AD, and he died in Nicomedia. His father, Gerontius, was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother, Polychronia, was from Palestine. They were both Christians and from noble families of Anici, so by this the child was raised with Christian beliefs. They decided to call him Georgius (Latin) or Geōrgios (Greek), meaning “worker of the land”. At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George’s mother, Polychronia, died.Eastern accounts give the names of his parents as Anastasius and Theobaste.

Then George decided to go to Nicomedia, the imperial city of that time, and present himself to Emperor Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius “” one of his finest soldiers. By his late 20s, George was promoted to the rank of Tribunus and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

In the year AD 302, Diocletian (influenced by Galerius) issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However George objected and with the courage of his faith approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. George loudly renounced the Emperor’s edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and Tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian and declared his worship of Jesus Christ. Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods. The Emperor made many offers, but George never accepted.

Recognizing the futility of his efforts, Diocletian was left with no choice but to have him executed for his refusal. Before the execution George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself. After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords in which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia’s city wall, on April 23, 303.

Saint George’s tomb in Lod, Israel

Source: Wikipedia

The path of nature

But the day will come when Fate knocks on our door. It might be the gentle tapping of the Angel of Good Fortune or the unmistakable rat-a-tat-tat of the Unwanted Visitor.
They both say: ‘Change now!’ Not next week, not next month, not next year.
The angels say: ‘Now!’

We always listen to the Unwanted Visitor. And we change everything because he scares us: we change village, habits, shoes, food, behaviour.
We can’t convince the Unwanted Visitor to allow us to stay as we are. There is no discussion.

We also listen to the Angel of Good Fortune, but we ask him:
‘Where will this lead?’ ‘To a new life,’ comes the answer.

And we feel proud of ourselves. And we are praised because we refuse to change, continuing, instead, in the direction Fate has chosen for us.
Wrong.
Because the correct path is the path of nature, which is constantly changing, like the dunes in the desert.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

Who is the most powerful master

One of Yu’s disciples was talking to a disciple of Rinzai:

– My master is a man capable of doing miracles, that is why he is respected by all his pupils. I have seen him do things far beyond our capabilities. And your master? What great miracles can he do?

– My master’s greatest miracle is that he doesn’t need to display any great wonder, in order to show his pupils that he is a wise man – was the reply.

 

Another name

A man said to a friend:

‘You talk about God as if you knew him personally, down to the colour of his eyes. Why do you need to create something to believe in? Can’t you live without that?’
His friend replied:

Do you have any idea how the Universe was created? Can you explain the miracle of life?’

 

‘Everything around us is the result of chance. Things just happen.’
‘Exactly. Well, “Things just happen” is merely another name for God.’

 

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Radicalization of young people

Recently, I was invited by the Unesco, to write a text about the radicalization of young people

I recognize in this text the feeling of powerlessness that grips me when I start to think about the current problems of the world, specially the bleak future that lies ahead for many children across the globe.

I think though that one has to be alert and see that all the problems we face have a common root: our selfishness, our fears.

To me, it seems that the only possible escape out of this cycle of violence is to act in our individual scale. In my case for instance: to write is my best possible weapon against the indifference, against the violence.

In Moses’ footsteps

By Paulo Coelho

Rabbi Zuya wanted to discover the mysteries of life. He therefore resolved to imitate the life of Moses.

For years, he tried to behave like the prophet – without ever achieving the results he hoped for. One night, tired of so much study, he fell into a deep sleep.

God appeared in his dream:

– Why are you so upset, my son? – He asked.

– My days on Earth will end, and I am still so far from being like Moses – answered Zuya.

– If I needed another Moses, I’d have already created him – said God. – When you come before me for judgment, I will not ask whether you were a good Moses, but who you were. Try and be a good Zuya.

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What is funny about man

By Paulo Coelho

A disciple asked Hejasi:

– I want to know what is the most funny thing about human beings.

Hejasi said:

– That they always think crooked: they’re in a hurry to grow, then lament their lost childhood, and soon loose the money they need to keep their health.

“They are so anxious about the future, that they neglect the present, and thus live in neither the present nor the future.

“They live as if they were never going to die, and die as if they had never lived.”

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Love: concentrate and dissolve

There’s a motto in Alchemy: “Concentrate and dissolve”.

As you may know alchemists would, through laboratory studies, try to distill the mercury from the sulphur and then refine the mercury until it converted into gold.
This quest would lead them to the Philosopher Stone (which was the solid component) and the Long Life Elixir.
All the process of distilling is based on this very simple motto: concentrate – meaning extracting the essence – and dissolve – meaning mixing the essence with something else.

Many disregard that through this routine, alchemists were also training their patience and thus transforming their perception of the world.

I think you can apply this same motto to love: in order to preserve love’s freedom, one has to be able at the same time to dive into its essence and to share it with others.

Only he who gives up is defeated

We look around and say to ourselves: ‘I survived.’ And we will be cheered by our words.

Only those who fail to recognise that inner strength will say: ‘I lost,’ and be sad.

Others, even though they are suffering because they were defeated and feel humiliated by the things the winners are saying about them, will allow themselves to shed a few tears, but never feel sorry for themselves.
They know that this is a merely a pause in the fighting and that, for the moment, they are at a disadvantage

They’re aware of being under tension, of being afraid. They consider their life and discover that, despite the fear, their faith is still alive in their soul, driving them onward.
They try to work out what they did wrong and what they did right.

They take advantage of this moment of defeat to rest, heal their wounds, devise new strategies and equip themselves better.

Then the day dawns when a new battle knocks on their door. They are still afraid, but they have to act, either that or remain for ever lying on the ground.
They get up and face their opponent, remembering the suffering they have endured and which they no longer wish to endure.
Their previous defeat means that this time they must win, because they don’t want to suffer the same pain again.

But if victory is not theirs this time, it will be the next time. And if not the next time, then the time after that. The important thing is to get back on your feet.

Only he who gives up is defeated. Everyone else is victorious.
 
 
taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

St. Joseph’s Party 2015

Thank you for the video, Oliver and Yan!

Afraid To Change

We are afraid to change because we think that, after much effort and sacrifice, we know our present world. And even though that world might not be the best of all worlds and even though we may not be entirely satisfied with it, at least it won’t give us any nasty surprises.

When necessary, we will make a few minor adjustments so that everything continues the same. We see that the mountains always stay in the same place. We see that fully-grown trees, when transplanted, usually die. And we say: ‘We want to be like the mountains and the trees. Solid and respectable.’

Even though, during the night, we wake up thinking: ‘I wish I was like the birds, who can visit Damascus and Baghdad and come back whenever they want to.’

Or: ‘I wish I was like the wind, for no one knows where it comes from nor where it goes, and it can change direction without ever having to explain why.’

The next day, however, we remember that the birds are always fleeing from hunters and other larger birds, and that the wind sometimes gets caught up in a whirlwind and destroys everything around it.

It’s nice to dream that we will have plenty of time in the future to do our travelling and that, one day, we will.Dreaming carries no risks. The dangerous thing is trying to transform your dreams into reality.

taken from THE MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

10 SEC READING: The intelligent servant

SAINT

EM PORTUGUES Y ESPANOL AQUI > O empregado inteligente / el empleado inteligente

When he was staying at an air base in Africa, author Saint-Exupéry passed the hat among his friends because a Moroccan servant wanted to return to his home town. He managed to collect a thousand francs.

One of the pilots flew the servant as far as Casablanca and told the following when he came back:

– As soon as he arrived he went to have dinner in the very best restaurant, handed out generous tips, paid for drinks all round and bought dolls for the children in his village. This man hadn’t the slightest notion of economy.

– Quite the opposite – answered Saint-Exupéry.

“He knew that the best investment in the world is people. Spending in that way, he managed to win all over again the respect of his countrymen, and they will offer him a job. After all, only a winner can be so generous.”

Akira and the robber

Akira was incapable of making accusations. Even though he was a great master of the Zen Buddhism, he never judged himself better than others.

One of his disciples asked him to talk to his brother, a highway robber, who frightened the city.

Akira went up to the outlaw’s house and spent the night with him. They didn’t exchange a word. In the morning, the robber helped Ryokan tie his sandals.

As he did that, his tears began to wash the master’s feet. “I never had the company of a wise man,” he said sobbing.

“Only of other robbers like me, or of policemen interested in condemning me. If Akira spent the night with me, it’s because I am still worth something.”

And from that day on, that man never committed a crime again.

Violence against women

I, myself, my family, we never directly experienced violence against women but this doesn’t mean I’m blind to it. I have friends affected by it, I meet people affected by it, and it’s not that they can’t complain, but that they’re ashamed of it.

You cannot just close your eyes because you don’t see it, when you know that it exists, even perhaps next door. Victim or not, you have to do something. So I accepted the offer from the UN to be part of this.

I do it by telling stories. Using the Internet in order to change the situation, fighting against violence against women is for me sharing what I have and others don’t – a life of peace and no violence – in order to help them to finally have it.

There is no gender difference for this kind of fight. We are human beings. And as human beings, you have to stand up against any kind of violence. Otherwise, what is the meaning of being alive?

Men should be more aware of the problems women face. Breast cancer is a women’s disease but we should be aware of it.
Unfortunately, in our world controlled by men, awareness is too low. Things have to change and what’s better for that than the UN, a global, non-profit organization that promotes peace and a better life for human beings. That’s why I’m part of this group and again, I’m proud to be part of it.

As much as I can use my popularity to raise awareness, awareness and action, I will.

El Greco and the light

On a pleasant spring afternoon, a friend went to visit the painter El Greco. To his surprise, he found him in his atelier with all curtains drawn.

Greco was working on a painting which had the Virgin Mary as the central theme, using only a candle to illuminate the environment.

Surprised, the friend said: “I have always heard that painters like the sun in order to choose well the colours they will use. Why don’t you open the curtains?”

“Not now,” answered El Greco. “It would disturb the brilliant fire of inspiration that is burning in my soul and filling with light everything around me.”

In the Tokyo underground

Terry Dobson was riding on the Tokyo underground when a drunk boarded the train and began to offend all the passengers.

Dobson, who had studied martial arts for some years, confronted## the man.

“What do you want?” asked the drunk.

Dobson prepared to attack him. Just at that moment an old man sitting on another bench shouted out: “Hey!”

“I’m going to beat up this foreigner, then I’ll get to you!” said the drunk.

“I like to have a drink too,” said the old man. “Every afternoon I sit down with my wife and we drink saké. Do you have a wife?”

A bit puzzled, the drunkard answered: “I don’t have a wife, I don’t have anyone. All I have is shame for myself.”

The old man asked the drunk to sit down beside him. When Dobson got off the train the man was in tears.

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Saint Joseph’s Day

St joseph

St joseph
As I do every year, today we are going to celebrate (this time in Santiago de Compostela, Spain) the day of my patron, Saint Joseph. Together with 120 friends, we will say the prayer below at 8:30 PM. Be welcome to join us!

Glorious St. Joseph
model of all who are devoted to labor,
obtain for me the grace
to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations;
to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor
the gifts I have received from God,
to work methodically, peacefully,
in moderation and patience,
without ever shrinking from it through difficulty to work;
above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness,
having unceasingly before my eyes
the account I have to render of time lost,
talents unused, good not done,
and vain complacency in success.
St. Joseph, inspire and guide me for the time to come.

 
 

1 MIN READ: improving your method…

An old hunter of foxes, considered to be the best in the region, decided finally to retire. He gathered together his belongings and resolved to set off for the south of the country, where the climate was milder.
However, before he could finish packing up his things, he received a visit from a young man.

‘I would like to learn your techniques,’ said the newcomer. ‘In exchange, I will buy your shop, your hunting license, and I will also pay you for all your secrets.’

The old man agreed, they signed a contract and he taught the young man all the secrets of fox-hunting. With the money he received, he bought a beautiful house in the south, where the climate was so mild that not once during the whole winter did he have to worry about gathering wood for the fire.

In the spring, though, he felt nostalgic for his own village and decided to go back and see his friends.
When he arrived, he bumped into the young man who, some months before, had paid him a fortune for his secrets.

‘So,’ the old hunter said, ‘how was the hunting season?’

‘I didn’t catch a single fox.’

The old man was surprised and confused.
‘Didn’t you follow my advice?’

With eyes downcast, the young man replied:

‘Well, to be honest, no, I didn’t. I thought your methods were out of date and I ended up discovering for myself a better way of hunting foxes.’

In the place desired

C. Martins comes over to serve our table in a café in San Diego, California. I met Cláudia in Brazil four years ago, and I tell my friends about the life she leads in the United States, getting only three hours sleep a day, working at the café until late at night and then as a baby-sitter during the whole day.

“I don’t know how she can stand it,” someone says.

“There is a Buddhist tale about a turtle,” says an Argentinian at our table. “The turtle is moving through a swamp, covered in mud, when it passes in front of a temple. There it sees a turtle shell, all covered in gold and precious stones.

“I don’t envy you, old friend,” thought the turtle. “You’re covered in jewels, but I’m doing what I want to.”

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