Forgiveness. By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept. How do you forgive a remorseless person? For-give-ness. By the sound of its syllabication, what twinge or pang does it hit? Paulo Coelho, in this modern classic, provokes the reader’s reflection and invites close scrutiny of inner self.
Forgiveness precedes an ungrateful, if not evil act, so ignominious that appalls the senses of goodwill and sensitivity. It is that which makes forgiveness generally hard in the human point of view. By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept. To err is human but to forgive is divine. Forgiveness does not necessarily mean to get back to that person’s company and sweet talking, and see him/her in a wonderful light. It is recognizing his/her satanic propensity but nevertheless letting go of the hate and the anxieties prepackaged.
Forgiveness is awareness, which involves the charity of bestowing it regardless of that person’s qualification to receive it. It is becoming the bigger person in difficult situations and being in control of the reflexes. For one, forgiveness is not really for the weak. It is for the gods and goddesses, sojourning in the midst of extraordinary times. The gods and goddesses, who succumb not to the chain and control that tarnish the luster. Forgiveness is simply reclaiming the power, freedom, happiness, love, and beauty snatched from self. For one, these are all matters of right.
By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept. It is pain that inundates the soul, which hinders Pilar from taking risks. Thus, opportunities pass by. She becomes regretful and disillusioned. Then she realizes that strength lies when she meets head on the inevitable. She unearths her divinity. Pilar is like anyone of us, allowing fears and people’s sh*ts to take control of us. By the River Piedra, we do not sit and weep. We rejoice for conquering ourselves by learning how to forgive. Coelho reiterates though that forgiveness is not easy, so I repeat for emphasis. In the end, the reader would learn that he forgives not because of the remorse shown. He does because forgiving is a great favor done to self.
This book is a good start to treading the path to lightness, serenity, happiness, wisdom, and love. While the latter is the greatest achievement toward self, happiness is of utmost importance. Anger deprives us to be happy. Published in June 2006 by HarperCollins, Coelho has always been poetic and soulful. A definitely must-read book: By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept. Read it with The Alchemist. I did in 2003.