“I didn’t need to waste my time just for this,” he said.
“I told you that your dream was a difficult one. It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them. And since I am not wise, I have had to learn other arts, such as the reading of palms.”
– Page 17, The Alchemist, Paul Coelho
Happy new month, everyone! And just like that the first quarter of the year is gone. Hope you made the most of it.
In April, I read Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist. I’d been meaning to read it for awhile because I’ve heard so many amazing things about it from friends. So, the book is about a young shepherd man, Santiago, who was hungry for more than just tending sheep so he goes in search of treasure – to achieve his Personal Legend. So he sells his sheep, faces a few setbacks on the way and meets a gypsy woman, an old man, the love of his life (Fatima) and an alchemist who guide him towards his destiny/Personal Legend.
I was tickled to find several Biblical references and symbols in this book. The old man he had met was the King of Salem, Melchizedek who Abraham paid tithe to in Genesis 14:17- 19. To guide Santiago, Melchizedek gave him two precious stones from his breastplate called the Urim and Thummim. Both stones are worn by Jewish priests for divination (ref Exodus 28:30).
“I’m already used to the way things are. Before you came, I was thinking about how much time I had wasted in the same place, while my friends had moved on, and either went bankrupt or did better than they had before. It made me very depressed. Now, I can see that it hasn’t been too bad. The shop is exactly the size I always wanted it to be. I don’t want to change anything, because I don’t know how to deal with change. I’m used to the way I am.” – (Page 59)
One thing that runs through the entire book is the pursuit of purpose (or Personal Legend as it is called in the book). When looking to fulfill Personal Legend, Santiago had to sell his sheep, give up everything he was familiar. He met a shop owner along the way who was discontent to stay but too afraid to leave the familiar for the unknown. I could print the above quote and frame it just remind myself of how silly comfort zones are.
“Don’t say anything,” Fatima interrupted. “One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving” – (Page 123)
Simple books always win in my opinion. This book was super easy to read
Was the author successful in carrying out the overall purposes of the book? Definitely
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes
1. Talent is Overrated – Geoff Colvin