A man knocked on the door of a Bedouin friend’s house to ask him a favour:

“Will you lend me four thousand dinars to pay off a debt?”

His friend asked his wife to gather together everything they had of value, but it still wasn’t enough. They had to go out and beg money from their neighbours until they had the necessary amount.

When the man left, the wife noticed that her husband was crying.

“Why are you sad? Now that we are in debt to our neighbours, are you afraid that we won’t be able to repay it?”

“No, it’s not that. I’m crying because he is a dearly beloved friend, and yet I knew nothing of the difficulties he was in. I only found out when he came and knocked on my door and asked to borrow some money.”

– Paulo Coelho, Manuscript found in Accra

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