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The Two Drops of Oil by Paulo Coelho

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  • medit8ionsociety
    A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 20 11:43 AM
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      A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness
      from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the
      desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at
      the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man
      was looking for.

      However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a
      room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and
      going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra
      playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with
      the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

      The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to
      wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.

      The Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy's
      visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the
      time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.

      He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his
      palace and come back in two hours' time.

      "However, I want to ask you a favor," he added, handling the
      boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil.
      "While you walk, carry this spoon and don't let the oil spill."

      The young man began to climb up and down the palace
      staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon.
      At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of
      the wise man.

      "So," asked the sage, "did you see the Persian tapestries
      hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the
      Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice
      the beautiful parchments in my library?"

      Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing.
      His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the
      wise man had entrusted to him.

      "So, go back and see the wonders of my world," said the wise man. "You can't trust a man if you don't know his house."

      Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled
      again through the palace, this time paying attention to all
      the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls.
      He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the
      delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of
      art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported
      in detail all that he had seen.

      "But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?"
      asked the sage.

      Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had
      spilled the oil.

      "Well, that is the only advice I have to give you," said the
      sage of sages.
      "The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of
      the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon."


      from the book "The Alchemist"
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