Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

Akira and the robber

Author: Paulo Coelho

Akira was incapable of making accusations. Even though he was a great master of the Zen Buddhism, he never judged himself better than others.

One of his disciples asked him to talk to his brother, a highway robber, who frightened the city.

Akira went up to the outlaw’s house and spent the night with him. They didn’t exchange a word. In the morning, the robber helped Ryokan tie his sandals.

As he did that, his tears began to wash the master’s feet. “I never had the company of a wise man,” he said sobbing.

“Only of other robbers like me, or of policemen interested in condemning me. If Akira spent the night with me, it’s because I am still worth something.”

And from that day on, that man never committed a crime again.

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