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 i...


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 am using. I hope you'll 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 seen!'
'That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities, which, if you can manage to hold onto them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.

'First quality: You are capable of great things, but you must not forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call this hand God, and he always guides us according to his will.

'Second quality: now and then, I have to stop 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 necessarily not a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.

'Fourth quality: What really matters in a pencil is not it's wooden exterior but it's graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening to 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 your life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action.'

Credit: Paulo Coelho, "Like the Flowing River"

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