Break your glass and fly – Scene different perspective

In the post “Break your Glass and Fly” that I built it on an idea and example in Paulo Coelho’s novel “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept”, I discussed what it means for someone to break his glass and how much someone’s struggle helps him see the world from different perspective and pushed him to grow.

This is how I summerized the scene:

In Paulo Coelho’s novel “By the river Piedra I sat down and wept”, there is a scene where the couple were dining in a restuarant. They were lovers in their childhood and they just met again in the story. In the period of time where they were seperated, the guy moved around the world in search for knowledge and wisdom, and thus he takes the role of a teacher, leading the young woman to realize new aspects of life.

While they were dining, he suddenly asked her to drop the glass of water on the table to the ground and break it. She didn’t understand what he is up to at first and refused to do it. Why would she do that? What an insane idea? and What would be the consequences of such more?

The conversation go on and on. Finally, she did it. The waiter came and cleaned up the mess without any real bad consequences. The only thing she learnt is to be more daring.

An online friend of mine who always surprises me of her excellent logic and her ways of looking upon things pointed out a side of this scene that I don’t think Paulo Coelho meant to address in his example and thus I failed to consider as well.

She said:

As for the content of that post, I liked the message, except for one thing, daring to do stuff when other people has to pay for the consequences is not my idea of being free, but more my idea of being selfish.

I mean if she decided to take her own glass and broke it, and then it was she who would clean it up – it’s one thing. But it’s not her glass, and she is not the one who cleaned her mess, and it’s one thing if that happens in an accident I can understand that, and it is the waiter’s job to clean the mess in that case, but to make him go through that cleaning (although I agree it’s not that hard of a job) seems kind of abusive for me, if it’s for no other reason than to supply your own need to feel daring. So that bothers me a little that the point that I agree with is based on that example, but I guess that is how it is in the book.

This is a very important point that my friend have raised. The question is:

How much breaking of our glass affect others?

While Paulo Coelho’s example meant to point out that it is just glass. Any single act of ours does have effect on others. Some people try always to restrict themselves from inflicting from causing others any extra hectic based on their actions and thus put themselves to hold extra unnecessary suffering that would have been avoided if some others helped taking some of the burden which wouldn’t make them suffer.

It is a question of how much selfishness can be considered acceptable and how much a person can put his needs first without causing much harm to people around him.

I ususally try to measure the amount of resulted suffering and bend on taking the most of it if it is inflicted by my own action, but if my behaviour meant to inflict a major change in my life that is essential to my growth while causing someone a bit more work like in the example of the waiter cleaning up the mess of the glass, then be it!

I would clean up the mess of other people’s glass if it is a major incident in their lives.

It is a matter cooperation. We can help each other, give and take, for the benefit of us all.


  1. This indeed is an outstanding theory… I personally break my glass away from those who might get hurt (at least the ones I care about)… and clean my own mess alone…It would save me so much suffering if someone reached and helped… but I don’t ask for it… nor do I expect it…It’s my choice to break away… and only I should hold responsibility for it!


  2. The answer is Yes, NO matter how I try,my actions can never be 100% selfless, and behind each glass I break in my life there is a big worthy lesson.. so If there is no other choice.. I would..yes..


  3. I say the glass could be so many things in your life. Your attachments to a certain place, or a certain person that are not allowing you to move on could also represent this glass. Sometimes breaking this glass will set you free, and it would be better for everyone involved. I like your blog by the way 🙂


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