by Paulo Coelho
“Needing to adapt to the new times, Satan decided to get rid of a whole lot of his stock of temptations. He placed an ad in the newspaper and attended his customers all day in his workshop. It was a fantastic stock: stones for the virtuous to stumble over, mirrors for increasing one’s self-importance, and spectacles that reduced the importance of others. Some objects hanging on the wall drew a lot of attention: a dagger with a curved blade to be used on someone’s back, and tape-recorders that registered only gossip and lies.
“Don’t worry about the price!” shouted old Satan to the potential customers. “Take it home today and pay for it whenever you can!”
One of the visitors noticed three tools lying in a corner that seemed to be quite worn and attracted little attention. But they were very expensive. Curious, he wanted to know the reason for that apparent discrepancy. “They are worn because they are the ones that I use most of all,” answered Satan with a laugh. “If they drew a lot of attention, people would know how to protect themselves. However, they are worth the price I am asking for them: one is Doubt, the other is the Inferiority Complex, the third is Bitterness. All the other temptations can sometimes fail, but these three always work.”