Sunday, October 27, 2013




“The Secret of Happiness”



A MERCHANT sent his son to learn the secret

of happiness from the wisest of men.


The YOUNG MAN wandered through the desert for

40 days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of



There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.


However, instead of finding a holy man,
our hero entered a

room and saw a great deal of activity,
merchants coming and going,
people chanting in the corners,
a small orchestra playing sweet melodies,
 and there was a table laden with the most
delectable dishes of that part of the world.
The wise man talked to everybody,
and the young man had to wait for two hours
until it was time for his audience.


With considerable patience,
the Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit,
told him that at that moment he did not have the time
 to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.
He suggested that the Youngman take a stroll
around his palace and come back into two hours’ time.
“However, I ask you a favour, “ he added,
handling the boy a teaspoon,
in which he poured two drops of oil.
“While you walk, carry this spoon
don’t let the oil spill.”


The young man began to climb up and down
the palace staircases, always keeping
his eyes fixed on the spoon.
At the end of two hours he returned
 to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the wise man,
“did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room?
 Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardens
 took ten years  to create?
Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed
that he had seen nothing.
His only concern was not to spill the drops
of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,”
said the wise man.
“You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”


Now at more ease,
 the young man took the spoon and strolled again
through the palace,
this time paying attention to all the works of the art
 that hung from the ceiling and walls.
He saw the gardens, the mountains all around
the palace, the delicacy of the flowers,
 the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche.
 Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.


“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you,”
asked the Sage.


Looking down at the spoon,
the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.


“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,”
the Sage said.


“The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at
all the wonders of the world
never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.”


                                                            ----- The Alchemist by Paul Coetho.


Source: The Sunday Tribune, 27th October, 2013.










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