About the Threatened Charity


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About the Threatened Charity

Pablo Coelho

First published here on December 2, 2003.
Original in Spanish, translation to English by Luis Prada.


Some time ago my wife helped a Swiss tourist in the Ipanema zone, who said having been a victim of petty thieves.  Speaking a very bad Portuguese with foreign accent, he affirmed being without a passport, money or place to sleep.

My woman paid him for a lunch and gave him the necessary money so he could spend the night in a hotel until he could contact his embassy, and he left.  Days later, a city newspaper informed that such "Swiss tourist" was in reality a very creative shameless, who faked a foreign accent and abused the good faith of the persons that loved Rio de Janeiro and wished to rid it of the negative imagejust or unjustthat has acquired our loved post cardAt reading the news my wife limited to comment: "that won’t prevent me from continuing helping whom I can".

Her remark reminded me of the story of the sage who, certain afternoon, arrived to the city of Akbar. People gave little importance to his presence, and his teachings were not able to interest the population.  Even after some time he came to be a reason for laughter and mockery by the inhabitants of the city.

A day, while passing by the main street of Akbar, a group pf men and women started to insult him.  Instead of fake ignoring them, the sage approached them and blessed them.
One of men commented:
Is it possible that also you’re deaf? We cry out loud terrible things to you and you reply us with beautiful words!
Each one of us only can offer what one haswas the answer of the sage.


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