Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Your story in my Blog – The Compass by Jayson Marquez

Author: Paulo Coelho

It is Independence Day*, June 12, 2009, Friday and it is celebrated as a national holiday. No classes today. No responsibilities to do. Not one, just a day to rest and unwind. I decided to check some of my things collected throughout my elementary and highschool days. I found various memorabilias. Cards from classmates and friends, wishing everything from Happy New Year, Christmas, Valentines and Birthdays. Popsicle, barbecue, and lollipop sticks shared with special people in my life. Ostrich and peacock feathers from a trip from a zoo, and other various knick-knacks and things that I’ve kept throughout the years. Out of these things, I saw a shiny, circular and flat object. It turned out to be a compass. Not the one you use in drawing classes to make circles and arcs on paper, but a true-blue compass used to tell directions. Luckily, it’s still working, with its magnetic needle, stubbornly pointing always to the north.
I go outside the house, which I found out is facing south. True to its bearings, it still really works, because the sun is just about to shine that morning, and I’m able to tell with the compass, that the sun really goes to work everyday from its eastern throne. Now, I look again to my trusted little compass with its stubborn needle. With my very limited knowledge with physics (and from what my older brother told me), the compass works through magnetism, Earth’s natural magnetic north, opposses with the magnet inside my compass in a perpetual power struggle, so the needle is always locked pointing to the north.
I felt some pity for the compass needle. It ain’t got freedom at all. It doesn’t have the power to choose. All its life and energy will be spent for just following the forces that bends it. Imagine a life like that, unable to decide just by yourself what path to take, what food to swallow, what to say or do. It would be a living hell.
There is nothing more bitter than having no freedom. Of all the things that we humans treasure the most, it is our God-given right to be free as an individual.
I’m lucky. You are lucky. We are not like my compass. We are human beings, Ihave my freedom to choose. You have yours. Be grateful. Like an archer, you can choose freely where to take your aim, and let your arrow fly free. Be free. God created us with that design, and with our own free will He let us live with that right. Can you find fault with that?

*June 12, is the Philippine Independence Day

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