• Madhusudan

The Vase and the Rose


The Vase and the Rose – Paulo Coelho

The Grand Master gathered together all the disciples in order to decide who would have the honour of working at his side.

‘I am going to set you a problem,’ said the Grand Master. ‘And the first one to solve that problem will be the new Guardian of the temple.’ Once this briefest of speeches was over, he placed a small stool in the middle of the room. On it stood a priceless porcelain vase containing a red rose. ‘There is the problem,’ said the Grand Master.


‘You are the new Guardian,’ the Grand Master said to the student.

‘I made myself perfectly clear. I said that there was a problem to be solved. Now it does not matter how beautiful or fascinating a problem might be, it has to be eliminated. A problem is a problem. It could be a very rare porcelain vase, a delightful love affair that no longer makes any sense, or a course of action that we should abandon, but which we insist on continuing because it brings us comfort. There is only one way to deal with a problem: attack it head on. At such moments, one cannot feel pity, nor be diverted by the fascination inherent in any conflict.’

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