The story of a Pencil

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter and 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, 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!” he said.

“That depends on how you look at things,” the grandmother replied.

“This pencil has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on 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 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 afterward, 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 bad; it helps keep us on the road to justice.

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

Fifth quality: It always leaves a mark. In 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.

Note: The story is an extract from the book “Like the flowing River” by Paulo Coelho, published by Harper Collins.

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