Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

I can’t get in

Author: Paulo Coelho

Near Olite, in Spain, there is a ruined castle. I decide to visit the place and as I am standing there before it, a man at the door says:
‘You can’t come in.’
My intuition tells me that he is saying this for the pure pleasure of saying ‘No’. I explain that I’ve come a long way, I try offering him a tip, I try being nice, I point out that this is, after all, a ruined castle…suddenly, going into that castle has become very important to me.
‘You can’t come in,’ the man says again.
There is only one alternative: to carry on and see if he will physically prevent me from going in. I walk towards the door. He looks at me, but does nothing.
As I am leaving, two other tourists arrive and they too walk in. The old man does not try to stop them. I feel as if, thanks to my resistance, the old man has decided to stop inventing ridiculous rules.

Sometimes the world asks us to fight for things we do not understand and whose significance we may never discover. But we always know when some rules need to be broken.

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