Leave your Mark

There is no footprint so small, that it does not leave an imprint in this world.

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point he asked:

‘Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?’
His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.’

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special. ‘But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!’

‘That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.’

‘First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps.

‘Second quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you a better person.

“Third quality:  The pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes.  This means that correcting something is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.’

Fourth quality; What really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside.  So always pay attention to what is happening inside of you.’

‘Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. in just the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action’

source: Like the Flowing River”  – Paulo Coelho

What mark do we wish to leave in this world?  Everyday I make choices that influences that mark; everyday, I have a new opportunity to start again.

30 thoughts on “Leave your Mark

  1. Lots of wisdom in this story…the graphite inside is what matters, and that’s the one leaving the mark. So true and worth remembering.

  2. My son, Ming, has left the nest now sort of (first girlfriend) and the mark I want to leave on him is of ease (not the nag I have become!) Great post for me.

    1. Its a big change when our children leave the nest. I think you are hard on yourself Julie. I am sure you have left an important mark on Ming, more than you know. Being conscious of our intentions is a great start. Thankyou.

  3. How I love this quoted material on the pencil! I have not read this Coelho book, but it makes me want to with such beautiful gems like this tucked inside. Thank you for sharing this, it is a keeper and great reminder of how to live. Wishing you a beautiful day.

  4. Wonderful and ever so meaningful! I believe that each of us has a purpose; a reason to exist and opportunities to share these purposes with others. For some of us (analogous to the pencil) our lives seem to thrive until our graphite is no longer visible. As our lives continue our memories fade as the written word can no longer be seen. We “push” harder on the pencil, but to no avail. Many at this point give up.
    It is our personal responsibility to help people see the options available in life. Each person that has the ability to contribute has the potential to make this world a better more satisfying place to live. Providing opportunities (“the sharpener”) so that people can resolve their own issues and situations is a blessing we can all participate in. It just requires a little creative thinking and a desire to care.

  5. What a wonderful post. Who would have thought that such wisdom could come from looking at something as simple as a pencil. And in this age of technology, it’s comforting to know that pencils still serve a purpose. 🙂

  6. What a lovely thought—I’m quite certain I’ll never look at a pencil the same way again! Thank you, Karen, for once again heightening my awareness of what’s truly important….

  7. What a fascinating story and such a good parable to have people thing about life, the good and how to live in the day so as to leave a mark ~ being conscious of the day. Great post Karen and wish you a nice weekend.

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