“Listening to One’s Heart in Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept” A person’s action is always influenced by several factors. One thinks about the option one really wants; after that, is the time in which he thinks about how it will affect his surroundings, whether it will soil his reputation, and whether it goes against his morals and beliefs. Every action has to have a reason, because an action from instinct is perceived as foolish. Society taught people to control their actions, and its policies instill fear of reclusion and pain, thus filtering out the true wishes inside peoples’ hearts. In result, a person could not live his life, but merely follows a substitute that does not threaten him. A person who wishes to truly experience how to live should trust his instincts and not examine its consequences. In Paulo Coelho’s By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept, his protagonist, Pilar, is first portrayed as a woman of logic. She weighs her options carefully before she makes them. She clearly had requirements, a kind of restriction, for people that she will allow herself to love. Pilar said, "So we should love only those who can stay near us. ” This manifests her fear of being left by another person. As the result, she misses out on the opportunity to love fully and unconditionally, which is a part of experiencing life. “For years, I had fought against my heart, because I was afraid of sadness, suffering, and abandonment,” Pilar had said. She is afraid of experiencing true happiness, for fear of what sacrifices it asks for in exchange. But as she travels with her childhood friend, she slowly transforms, leaving her fears behind, and accepting happiness in her life. With it, she earns her courage: to welcome the suffering that may come with it, to experience life along with its ups ad downs. By listening to her heart, she becomes more mature, and not foolish like what the society advertises. “That's why you don't ask—you act. ” “Because if we stop to think we become fearful. ” The more a person thinks about his actions, the more he lets his fear take over. He begins to let himself think—and be fearful of—what it would result to, when in fact; the future is out of his control. That is why a person should just act on his desire, to be free of regret. And to be free of regret is to enjoy one’s life, to continue living without looking back, or holding back. “Remember that human wisdom is madness in the eyes of God,” the seminarian had said. Society Society taught the people that a normal person would try to measure his actions so that he may measure what it brings in the future. That is what Pilar did in the beginning, but as she slowly regains her religion, she soon realizes that this was wrong. “Simply having the courage to say senseless things made me euphoric. ” “Break the glass, because it's a symbolic gesture. Try to understand that I have broken things within myself that were much more important than a glass, and I'm happy. ” “Break the glass, please—and free us from all these damned rules, from needing to find an explanation for every thing, from doing only what others approve of. ” All these excerpts exemplify the courage to free one’s self from society’s perceptions. Society tells the people to do good in order to be happy, when in fact it should be the other way around. And by not listening to what society taught him, one will find happiness, because one has believed in one’s self, despite other people’s opinions. As one takes the courage to free his inner child, one is able to experience life truly because he is able to do the things his heart desires; and he is able to see the good in everything. Experiencing one’s own life means to be free of inhibitions, regrets, and fully experiencing the upside and downside. It is the duty of one to his self and to God, to make his life true and happy, because it is His dream for every being to live a happy life. Even if it means doing crazy things at times. Whatever may come with it, pain or suffering, should be recognized as a part of happiness, because one would only comprehend happiness if one has experienced pain and suffering. “I was there because suddenly life had presented me with Life. I felt no guilt, no fear, no embarrassment. I was more and more convinced that he was right: there are moments when you have to take a risk, to do crazy things. ”
Read full document← View the full, formatted essay now!