The boy watched his grandmother writing a letter. At some point, he asked her: ‘Are you writing a story that happened with us? And for any chance, is it a story about me?’
The grandmother stopped writing, smiled, and said to her grandchild: ‘I am writing about you, that’s true. However, more important than the words, is the pencil I am using to write them. I would like you to be like it when you grow up.’
Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil and didn’t see anything special.
‘But it is like any other pencil I ever saw in my life!’ he exclaimed.
‘Everything depends on how you look at things. There are five qualities in it, which if you are able to maintain, you will always be a person in peace with the world,’ the grandmother said.
‘First quality: You can make big things, but you should never forget that there is a Hand that guides your steps. We call this hand God, and He shall always conduct you toward His will.
‘Second quality: Once in a while, I need to stop writing and sharpen it. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but in the end it will be sharper. So, know to bear a few pains, because they will make you a better person.
‘Third quality: The pencil always allows us to use an eraser to remove what was wrong. Understand that correcting something we did isn’t necessarily something bad, but something important to keep us in the path of justice.
‘Fourth quality: What really matters in the pencil isn’t the wood or its exterior form, but the graphite inside. So, always care for what happens inside you.
‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: It always leaves a mark. The same way, know that everything you do in life will leave traces, so seek to be conscious of every action of yours.
A boy’s faith moves the rain gods
After four years of drought in the small north-east village, the priest gathered everyone for a pilgrimage up to the mountain; there they would do a collective prayer, asking for the rain to fall again.
In the group, the priest noticed a boy wearing a raincoat.
‘Are you crazy?’ he asked the boy.
‘It hasn’t rained in this region for five years and the heat from hiking up the mountain will kill you.’
The boy replied: ‘I have a cold, priest. If we are going to ask God for rain, can you imagine our return from the mountain? It will be a spate and I need to be prepared.’
At this moment, they heard a great roar coming from the sky and the first drops began to fall. It sufficed the faith of a boy in a miracle that even the most prepared ones didn’t believe in.
By Paulo Coelho