Loved "The Alchemist". Got hooked on to Paulo Coelho reading "Veronica Decides to Die". He is one writer who pens the most profound of thoughts in the simplest of words.
"Like the Flowing River" is a collection of his thoughts on spirituality, people, life in general. There are a few reproduciotns of his earlier writings too. Not attempting a review here, I am too ordinary a mortal to even think of it. Just wanted to share something which really caught my thoughts in this book.
"Beacuse it has lived its life intensely
the parched grass still attracts the gaze of passers-by.
The flowers merely flower,
and they do this as well as they can.
The white lily, blooming unseen in the valley,
Does not need to explain itself to anyone;
It lives merely for beauty.
Men, however, cannot accept that 'merely'.
If tomatoes wanted to be melons,
they would look completely ridiculous.
I am always amazed
that so many people are concerned
with wanting to be what they are not;
what's the point of making yourself look ridiculous?
You don't always have to pretend to be strong,
there's no need to prove all the time that everything is going well,
you shouldn't be concerned about what other people are thinking,
cry if you need to,
it's good to cry out all your tears
because only then will you be able to smile again."
(written by Mitsuo Aida, a Japanese poet and calligrapher)
Realized early on in life that it is impossible and impractical to please everyone in everything you do. Do what you think is right, if possible without causing pain to your dearest ones. It's been working for me, at peace with myself most of the times - always is impossible, 'coz I have too many loved ones and a few whom I love too much!!
Being true to myself is also really difficult many a time. A strong stubborn streak sometimes stands in the way between me and how I behave. Got to get a hold on that.