Photo credits: aprilzosia; Wikimedia. (cc 2.0)
In Lewis Carroll’s famous masterpiece “Alice through the Looking Glass,” there is a dialogue between the main character and the Queen, who has just told something quite extraordinary.
– I can’t believe it – says Alice.
– Can’t believe it? – the Queen repeats with a sad look on her face. – Try again: take a deep breath, close your eyes, and believe.
– It’s no good trying. Only fools believe that impossible things can happen.
– I think what you need is a little training – answers the Queen. – When I was your age I would practice at least half an hour a day, right after breakfast, I tried very hard to imagine five or six unbelievable things that could cross my path, and today I see that most of the things I imagined have turned real, I even became a Queen because of that.
Life Constantly Asks Us: “Believe!”
Believing that a miracle can happen at any moment is necessary not only for our happiness but also for our protection, or to justify our existence. In today’s world, many people think it is impossible to put an end to misery, to build a fair society, and to alleviate the religious tension that seems to grow worse every day.
Most people avoid the struggle for a whole variety of reasons: conformism, maturity, the sense of the ridiculous, the feeling of impotence. We see injustice being done to our neighbor and remain silent. “I’m not getting involved in fights for nothing” is the explanation.
This is a cowardly attitude. Whoever travels down a spiritual path carries an honor code to be fulfilled; the voice that is raised against what is wrong is always heard by God.
47 Stupid Rules That Make You "Normal"
You are supposed to be normal if you follow these 47 stupid rules. This list was compiled by Igor, the main character of “The Winner Stands Alone”.
1] Believing that dreams are impossible.
2] Believing in everything they tell about who are your “enemies”.
3] Spending years at university and then not being able to find a job.
4] Working from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon at something that does not give us the least pleasure, so that we can retire after 30 years.
5] Retiring only to discover that we have no more energy to enjoy life, and then dying of boredom after a few years.
6] Using Botox.
7] Trying to be financially successful instead of seeking happiness.
8] Ridiculing those who seek happiness instead of money by calling them “people with no ambition”.
9] Comparing objects like cars, houses and clothes, and defining life according to these comparisons instead of really trying to find out the true reason for being alive.
10] Not talking to strangers. Saying nasty things about our neighbors.
11] Thinking that parents are always right.
12] Getting married, having children and staying together even though the love has gone, claiming that it’s for the sake of the children (who do not seem to be listening to the constant arguments).
12ª] Criticizing everybody who tries to be different.
14] Waking up with a hysterical alarm-clock at the bedside.
15] Believing in everything that is printed.
16] Wearing a piece of colored cloth wrapped around the neck, known by the pompous name “necktie”.
17] Never asking direct questions, even though the other person understands what you want to know.
18] Keeping a smile on your face when you really want to cry. And feeling sorry for those who show their own feelings.
19] Thinking that art is worth a fortune, or that it is worth absolutely nothing.
20] Always despising what was easily gained, because the “necessary sacrifice” – and therefore also the required qualities – are missing.
21] Following fashion, even though it all looks ridiculous and uncomfortable.
22] Being convinced that all the famous people have tons of money.
23] Investing a lot in exterior beauty and paying little attention to interior beauty.
24] Using all possible means to show that even though you are a normal person, you are infinitely superior to other human beings.
25] In any kind of public transport, never looking straight into the eyes of the other passengers, as this may be taken for attempting to seduce them.
26] When in an elevator, looking straight at the door and pretending you are the only person inside, however crowded it may be.
27] Never laughing out loud in a restaurant, no matter how funny the story is.
28] In the Northern hemisphere, always wearing the clothes that match the season of the year: short sleeves in springtime (however cold it may be) and a woolen jacket in the fall (no matter how warm it is).
29] In the Southern hemisphere, decorating the Christmas tree with cotton wool, even though winter has nothing to do with the birth of Christ.
30] As you grow older, thinking you are the wisest man in the world, even though not always do you have enough life experience to know what is wrong.
31] Going to a charity event and thinking that it is enough to put an end to all the social inequalities in the world.
32] Eating three times a day, even when not hungry.
33] Believing that the others are always better at everything: they are better-looking, more resourceful, richer and more intelligent. Since it’s very risky to venture beyond your own limits, it’s better to do nothing.
34] Using the car as a way to feel powerful and in control of the world.
35] Using foul language in traffic.
36] Thinking that everything your child does wrong is the fault of the company he or she is keeping.
37] Marrying the first person who offers a position in society. Love can wait.
38] Always saying “I tried”, even though you haven’t tried at all.
39] Putting off doing the most interesting things in life until you no longer have the strength to do them.
40] Avoiding depression with massive daily doses of television programs.
41] Believing that it is possible to be sure of everything you have won.
42] Thinking that women don’t like football and that men don’t like interior decoration.
43] Blaming the government for everything bad that happens.
44] Being convinced that being a good, decent and respectful person means that the others will find you weak, vulnerable and easy to manipulate.
45] Being convinced that aggressiveness and discourtesy in treating others are signs of a powerful personality.
46] Being afraid of fibroscopy (men) and childbirth (women).
47] And finally, thinking that your religion is the sole proprietor of the absolute truth, the most important, the best, and that the other human beings in this immense planet who believe in any other manifestation of God are condemned to the fires of hell.
This article is reprinted, from
Paulo Coelho's website, with gratitude.
Book by this author
Warrior of the Light: A Manual
by Paulo Coelho.
The Warrior of The Light: A Manual invites us to live out our dreams to embrace the uncertainty of life, and to rise to our own unique destiny. In his inimitable style, Paulo Coelho shows readers how to embark upon the way of the Warrior: the one who appreciates the miracle of being alive, the one who accepts failure, and the one whose quest leads him to become the person he wants to be.
About the Author
Paulo Coelho is the author of numerous books, of which the first to become a success, The Alchemist has gone on to sell more than 65 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling books in history. It has been translated into more than 70 languages, the 71st being Maltese, winning the Guinness World Record for most translated book by a living author. Since the publication of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho has generally written one novel every two years including By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, The Fifth Mountain, Veronika Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym, Eleven Minutes, Like the Flowing River, The Valkyries and The Witch of Portobello. Visit his website at www.paulocoelho.com