Farm Work

The young man crossed the desert and finally reached the Sceta monastery. There he asked – and was given permission – to attend one of the abbot’s talks.

That afternoon the abbot spoke about the importance of farm work.

When the talk came to an end, the young man commented to one of the monks:

“That really impressed me. I thought that I was going to hear an illuminated sermon on virtues and sins, but the abbot only spoke about tomatoes, irrigation and things like that. Where I come from, everyone believes that God is mercy: all you need to do is pray.”

The monk smiled and answered:

“Here we believe that God has already done His part; now it’s up to us to continue the process.”

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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