Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Making the field fertile

Author: Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

The Zen master entrusted the disciple with looking after the rice patch.

In the first year the disciple took care that the necessary water was never lacking. The rice grew strong and it was a good harvest.

In the second year he had the idea of adding a little fertilizer. The rice grew fast and the harvest was bigger.

In the third year he used more fertilizer. The harvest was even bigger, but the rice came up small and had no shine to it.

“If you go on increasing the amount of fertilizer, you will have nothing of any value next year,” said the master. “You give someone strength when you give a little help. But you weaken him if you help too much.”

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