Still... I live in this world. I've had stubborn clients who made me crazy and caused me to wonder why I chose my career. I see family or friends desperately struggling to make ends meet or trying to overcome illnesses that attack them from out of the blue. I get angry when I observe corrupt politicians and greedy executives. And worse, I sometimes do stupid, petty, or short-sighted things that directly contradict my own ideals. In short, there are plenty of times when I find my essential optimism challenged... times when I wonder what's the point of it all... times when I ask myself, "Does it really make sense to cling to optimism and continue trying to learn, grow, and keep doing the right thing?"
When I begin to slip into this negative place, I revisit this passage from Paulo Coelho's Warrior of the Light: A Manual: "Every warrior of light has felt afraid of going into battle. Every warrior of light has, at some time in the past, lied or betrayed someone. Every warrior of light has trodden a path that was not his. Every warrior of light has suffered for the most trivial of reasons. Every warrior of light has, at least once, believed that he was not a warrior of light. Every warrior of light has failed in his spiritual duties. Every warrior of light has said 'yes' when he wanted to say 'no'. Every warrior of light has hurt someone he loved. That is why he is a warrior of light, because he has been through all this and yet has never lost hope of being better than he is."
So. There it is in a nutshell. The struggles, the failures, the bad results all coexisting right alongside the hope of perfectibility. I find this extremely comforting. And I find it an inspiration and cause to persevere and retain my optimism as I push on in my personal journey.
In Warrior of the Light: A Manual, Paulo Coelho writes: "What is a warrior of light? ... He is someone capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something he believes in..." And at the same time "... a warrior of light values a child's eyes because they are able to look at the world without bitterness. When he wants to find out if the person beside him is worthy of his trust, he tries to see him as a child would."
In his Warrior of the Light: A Manual, Paulo Coelho presents a collection of proverbs, quotes from the Tao Te Ching, the Bible, the book of Chuang Tzu, the Talmud and many other sources to create an encouraging "How To" guide for the reader who is trying to retain her strength on her own warrior's quest. One of the best features of this great little Manual is that you can jump into it almost anywhere, spend a few minutes, and renew your energy and inspiration. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for reading. In fact, this is one of the work's great strengths: That it can be picked up, read almost at random, and provide quickly-digested wisdom when you are feeling a bit down.
Here's the book's summary from Feedbooks.com: "Warrior of the Light: A Manual is an inspirational companion to The Alchemist, an international bestseller that has beguiled millions of readers around the world. Every short passage invites us to live out our dreams, to embrace the uncertainty of life, and to rise to our own unique destiny. In his inimitable style, Paulo Coelho helps bring out the Warrior of the Light within each of us. He also shows readers how to embark upon the way of the Warrior: the one who appreciates the miracle of being alive, the one who accepts failure, and the one whose quest leads him to become the person he wants to be... Paulo Coelho is one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. Now, in the long-awaited companion to his first novel [The Alchemist], Coelho presents a collection of philosophical stories that will delight and guide seekers everywhere."
Also available at Feedbooks.com is the more recent collection Warrior of the Light, Volumes 1 - 3. Feedbooks.com summarizes these as follows: "'Warrior of the Light: Volumes 1 - 3' is a collection of texts that, for the first time, are gathered from the internet writings of Paulo Coelho. In his inimitable style, Paulo Coelho helps us to discover the warrior of the light within each of us. In these volumes readers are invited to to travel through the life and imagination of a pilgrim writer."
Like the earlier ... Manual, Warrior... Volumes 1 - 3 need not be read straight through to be enjoyed and to provide inspiration. They take the form of brief travel tales, parables, folk tales, etc. from many different cultures and locations around the world. In fact the wide-ranging philosophical, religious, and cultural sources for these volumes makes them particularly powerful, since the reader can quickly see the universal struggles and truths that are engaged by warriors of light from many different traditions. (They help the reader see that "We're all in this together!")
When I'm going through periods when I need a kick of encouragement, I like to read a little from one of these works right before bed. This seems to help program my spirit for a more optimistic world-view the next day. To get your free eBook downloads of Warrior of the Light: Volumes 1 - 3, go to these links at Feedbooks.com: