Manuscript Found in Accra

One of the books I recently read is Paulo Coelho’s Manuscript Found in Accra. I’ve read a good number of this man’s books – some I’ve loved, some were so-so and some were just blah for me. I decided to give this new one a shot and was a bit disappointed.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the quotable lines in the book but what I didn’t like is that the book seemed to be all about those quotables. I’m sure that every reader likes it when a phrase or sentence speaks to you while you are reading a book but to read something that seems to have been written so that everything would give you that “aha” moment is overkill for me.

The book is about the people of Jerusalem who have come together to talk to a wise man named Copt as they prepare for war. The entire book is about them asking for his opinion on various things and these replies are what make up all the quotable lines of the book.

Here are some of the lines that stood out for me:

“If we resist the temptation to allow other people to define who we are, then we will gradually be able to let the sun inside our own soul shine forth.”

“Instead of accepting ourselves as we are, we try to imitate what we see around us.”

“If you are never alone, you cannot know yourself.”

I agree with those three lines. In this day and age where social media and “media icons” dictate the latest trends it becomes tempting to follow what is “in” instead of being true to ourselves. Sometimes I think we need to detach ourselves from everyone to see who were are apart from it all otherwise we would just be what the majority dictate for us to be.

“What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace.”

“When you are going through difficult times, remember: you might have lost some major battles, but you survived and you're still here.”

I loved those two lines. Sometimes I feel frustrated when I see that there are people who get ahead by doing things that were not fair but I have to agree, even if they are more successful on the outside, I feel more successful because I can sleep at night with peace of mind and the knowledge that my conscience is clear. I may be struggling, but I have survived and I am continuing to survive my obstacles in life and I am still here and that makes all the difference.

“Beware of anyone who tries to please you all the time.”

“We will always meet rivals in everything we do, but the most dangerous are those we believe to be our friends.”

“Seek out those who think differently from you and whom you will never be able to convince that you are right.”

If there’s anything that life has taught me it’s that not everyone who appears nice to you is your friend. We let our guard down with our friends and that is what is dangerous if we are not careful about whom we choose to have as our friends. I agree that it is often better to have friends who think differently from you – having people who will tell us when we are making a mistake (even if we are not happy about it) is better than someone who is always agreeing with you. Remember the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Those yes people caused his downfall. I think that’s what those kinds of friends can be if we allow them into our lives.

“We are afraid to change because we think that, after so much effort and sacrifice, we know our present world. And even though that world might not be the best of all worlds, and even though we may not be entirely satisfied with it, at least it won’t give us any nasty surprises. We won’t go wrong. When necessary, we will make a few minor adjustments so that everything continues the same.”

Being someone who was a bit afraid to come out of her comfort zone, I know EXACTLY what that quote was about. I have managed to “branch out” of my comfort zone these past few years, trying to get the best of both worlds if and when I can. I know it’s not a big shift but hey, it’s a start!

“Love is only a word, until someone arrives to give it meaning. Don't give up. Remember, it's always the last key on the key ring that opens the door.”

My single friends would love that quote. I know I do. I love how he said the last key opens the door. I think the last key is not yet here for me so that someone who will give it more meaning (I say more because I have love for my family and friends) better get here already!

Have you read this book already? Care to share what you think?

Photo Source:  Goodreads 

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