Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The little daily hell

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

Thanks God, I have a lot of blessings in my life. Health, friends, a woman that I love, and a work that fulfills me. I am not saying that I am in Heaven, but at least I am not in Hell.

Hell, according to many religions, is an afterlife suffering where the wicked or unrighteous souls are punished. Within Islam and Christianity, Hell is traditionally depicted as fiery and painful. Some other traditions, however, portray Hell as cold and gloomy. Existence after life is not concrete in Judaism and may be portrayed as a state of neutrality, an eternal nothingness (“sheol”, often mis-translated as hell), simply non-life. For more details in several versions on different hells, please refer to my book “The devil and Miss Prym”.

Three days ago, for the sake of a mind game, some friends and I started to write down a list of things that would certainly make up our personal hell. Our intention was just look to our daily life and recognize what drive each one of us crazy.

Here is my list:
– Not having Internet access
– Not drinking coffee throughout the day
– Seeing all my computer files out of order (and having ANY problems with computers)
– Being forced to wear really colourful clothes from fashion designers
– Being obliged to wake up early and going to sleep early
– Having to attend endless lunches (dinners are OK for me)
– Not being able to take a nap in the afternoon
– Being forbidden to play pinball every now and then
– Being forbidden to do archery
– Waiting in queues
– Having to go to discotheques and talking loudly with friends that can’t hear me because of the noise
– When in the countryside, not walking every morning in the forests.

We all know that the blessings stated in the first paragraph ( health, faith, friends, love, personal legend) are by far the real values of life. But if you have to make a list of insignificant things that take you away from your daily Heaven, what would they be?

Please, this is just a game! But if you wish to participate you are welcome.

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