Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Author: Paulo Coelho

You are known as a writer with great influence on public. If you were the one who direct humanitarian activities, to which sphere of activity you would orientate humanitarianism : Sting is trying to rescue the tropical rain forest, Bono lectures to leaders of the strongest states, Sharon Stone collect financial resources for humanitarian purposes, Gilberto Gil is a Minister of Culture. Have you ever thought or wished to politically engaged?

I think that it is everyone’s responsibility to be involved in one�s community. I’ve always been very skeptical about people that say: “I want to save the world, help others!” This is because to save the “world” is a Sisyphus project : too abstract to actually be put into practice. What is possible – and the most difficult task – is to first look at oneself and try to identify what’s wrong. Before searching for the other, one has to find oneself.
I took forty years to find myself � to accept my dream: to become a writer. Only when I started to walk down the path of my personal legend was I able to honestly turn myself towards others: before that there were too many walls inside my soul.
I looked around me and said: “I can’t change the world, I can’t change my country, I can’t change my city, I can’t even change my neighborhood! what I can change is my street.” That’s when I went to a favela ” in Rio favelas are in the center of the city � and met a group of people that were taking care of children. Since then I’ve been cooperating with them and now we take care of 430 children.

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