The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has been a book I’ve been wanting to read for some time but never seemed to get around to actually reading it. Last night while out shopping I stopped to browse some books on display in which my eyes were immediately drawn the last copy of Paulo Coelho’s 25th Anniversary Edition of The Alchemist. I got home with my new purchase after 10 p.m. The excitement of wanting to read my new book made me forget about how tired I was, so I read and was immediately engrossed.
The story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
When The Alchemist was first published twenty-five years ago in my native Brazil, no one noticed. My original publisher decided to cut me loose and cancelled our contract. I was forty-one and desperate. But I never lost faith in the book or ever wavered in my vision. Why? Because it was me in there, all of me, heart and soul. I was living my own metaphor. A man sets out on a journey, dreaming of a beautiful or magical place, in pursuit of some unknown treasure. At the end of his journey, the man realizes the treasure was with him the entire time.
As I wrote in The Alchemist, when you want something, the whole universe conspires to help you. The story of one person is the story of everyone, and one man’s quest is the quest of all of humanity, which is why I believe The Alchemist continues all these years later too resonate with people from different cultures all around the world, touching them emotionally and spiritually, equally, without prejudice.
And here is what I feel. I feel happiness, because it is all of me, and all of you simultaneously. When I read about clashes around the world-political clashes, economic clashes, cultural clashes. I am reminded that it is within our power to build a bridge to be crossed. Even if my neighbor doesn’t understand my religion or my politics, he can understand my story. If he can understand my story, then he’s never too far from me.
There is always a chance for reconciliation, a chance that one day he and I will sit around a table together and put an end to our history of clashes. And on this day, he will tell me his story and I will tell him mine.
There is always a chance for reconciliation. T.G.W.T.Q.S.