The Daisy and Selfishness

“I am a daisy in a field of daisies,” thought the flower. “Amidst others, it is impossible to notice my beauty.”

An angel heard what she was thinking and commented:

But you are so pretty!

I want to be the only one!

In order not to hear any complaints, the angel carried her off to a city square.

Some days later, the mayor went there with a gardener to make some changes to the square. There is nothing of interest here. Dig up the earth and plant geraniums, he said.

Hold on a minute! cried out the daisy. You’ll kill me if you do that!

If there were some others like you, we could make some nice decoration, answered the mayor. But there are no daisies to be found around here, and you on your own do not make a garden.

Then he tore the flower from the ground.

Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who has sold more than 100 million books, which include 14 short story collections and the novel “The Alchemist.” He has been a fan of the Internet since the early 1990s. He spends at least three hours a day online, writing e-mails back and forth with his readers and posting photos on Flickr, MySpace and a blog.

Coelho’s online activities also include promoting pirated copies of his own books. Since 2005 he’s been directing his readers to an online site where they can download his books, in languages from German to Japanese, for free. “I always thought that when, at the beginning of your career, you strive to be read, you can’t change your mind later and become greedy about it.”

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