I have a ritual that I perform twice a year to ground myself and lift my Spirit: I read my favorite book of all time, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, once at the beginning/end of the year and again at the turn of the second half of the year. By my estimate I have read the book at least twenty times and each was different from the other, from a revelation point. We are now at the turn of the second half of 2021 and I read it again and this time the resonating message was “it is never too late”.
One of the characters in the book is a crystal merchant who always had a dream of travelling to Mecca to fulfil his obligation as devout Muslim. His initial plan was to sell crystal and make enough money for the pilgrimage. Life was kind enough for the business to boom and he was able to make enough money but as with most things in life, his priorities got mixed up and he never got to make the pilgrimage. He became too attached to his business that his obsession with taking care of it began to outweigh his dream of travelling to Mecca. The irony here is that the crystal selling business was founded to fund the dream of making a pilgrimage to Mecca but for some reason it became more important that the purpose for which it was created. A blessing ignored becomes a curse. It was King Solomon who said that time chance happens to all. Sure enough business began to decline as the haydays of crystal selling were fizzling out. Our hero held on to the business and the dream of going to Mecca became a distant memory. His main focus was to ensure that he does not close shop which meant he could no longer afford to go Mecca as money was now being diverted towards ensuring the business does not sink.
Enter the main character of the story, Santiago, who was on a journey in pursuit of his dream. Fate crossed his paths with that of the crystal merchant and he breathed new life into the merchant’s business and seemingly returned it to its glory days. Life had afforded the merchant another opportunity to realize his dream but again he opted not travel to Mecca citing his fears of having no reason to live once he had travelled to Mecca. It hit me as I was reading the book for the umpteenth time that it is never too late to start chasing again, to start building again. As we grow older there is a feeling of falling behind our dreams that creeps in slowly and eventually gets to a point of convincing us that we “are too old to be doing this and that” but the truth is time and chance happens to all and fortune favors the brave. Are you brave enough to begin again after a failed relationship that you invested all of yourself in? after making that colossal financial mistake? after suffering a devastating loss? Because race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.
Fortune favors the brave and we must always have our eyes peeled to notice when the universe gives us another lifeline to have a go at it. Just like the crystal merchant, each and everyone of us gets a chance to dance in the sun not just once in our lives but several times over one’s lifespan. But the kicker is: you must always know what you want so that you do not get distracted easily and have your priorities warped by the loud external noises.