Another excerpt from Coelho

I am back with Coelho again! Can’t seem to help it! 🙂 This is one of his best articles in the book “Like the flowing river”. Many must have already read it before, but it is something that I would like to preserve and read again and again. Hence this post. Here goes:

The Story of the Pencil

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter.
At one point, he asked:
‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is
it a story about me?’

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said
to her grandson:
‘I am writing about you, actually, but more important
than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you
will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t
seem very special.

‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five
qualities which, if you manage to hang on to them, will
make you a person who is always at peace with the

‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but
you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your
steps. We call that hand God, and He always guides us
according to His will.

‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing
and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a
little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too,
must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because
they will make you a better person.

‘Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an
eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting
something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it
helps to keep us on the road to justice.

‘Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not
its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always
pay attention to what is happening inside you.

‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a
mark. In just the same way, you should know that
everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be
conscious of that in your every action.’


Filed under Life, Motivation, Reading Ramana, Sourced

10 responses to “Another excerpt from Coelho

  1. Sathej

    Simply beautiful!Excellent comparison.These are things which are to be preserved, no doubt!

  2. Nithya

    this was the best written ‘reflection’ in that book 🙂 Loved it totally 🙂 His books make u think…They highlight the fact that even little things can teach u a lot in life and that small pleasures in life, are meant to be relished 🙂
    I repeat “Like the flowing river rules” 🙂

  3. aart hilal

    Hello, Priya!
    I’m also a big Paulo Coelho fan and I don’t know if you heard about his blog
    I’ve started as a fan and now I’m collaborating with him and thought that you would like to enter his universe.
    Check the blog, if you want, or subscribe to his newsletter
    You’ll see a community of warriors of light sharing ideas, dreams and most importantly following their personal legend.

    “The search for happiness is more important than the need for pain.”

    See u there and have great day!

  4. Priya Iyer


    thanks! 🙂


    yep, it is one butiful book! 🙂


    thanks! 🙂

  5. Sathej

    Strange things seem to be happening at many blogs.At first,only my comments started disappearing.Now, an entire post has disappeared(and yes, I have commented on it).Hope this has nothing to do with me:) Hmm… let’s

  6. Priya Iyer


    nope, it has got nothing to do with you! 🙂 it has got everything to do with me….:-)

  7. Ryan.A.Nash

    some one who shouldn’t have seen it saw it??? 😀

  8. Priya Iyer


    yep! 🙂

  9. Sathej

    Sorry for seeing it, then. I didn’t realize it was not to be seen!

  10. Priya Iyer


    :-)i was not referring to you guys when i said someone who was not supposed to see it saw it!

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