Miguel de Cervantes

by | Jun 8, 1998 | Perspective

A long time ago a baby was born to poor parents. His future looked bleak as he grew to see a life of dreariness and poverty before him. He joined the army as a common soldier and was wounded so severely that he never regained the use of his left arm.

He later failed to find decent employment and, on two occasions, was sent to debtor’s prison. He continued to have brushes with the law and struggled just to survive.

But, despite the severity of his life, he never let go of his dream… to write a book. In it he told a beautiful story which welled from heart’s deepest dreams and yearnings and has moved generations of people the world over ever since. It is about a man who saw the world differently than everyone else. Though created in suffering, it is an inspiring tale of irrepressible hope. His story has been put to music and film, translated into numerous languages and remains a literary classic after some 400 years.

The author was Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and the book, DON QUIXOTE DE LA MANCHA (1615; translated by P. Motteux).

Perhaps Cervantes was speaking for himself when he penned the words for Don Quixote’s epitaph:

“Nor has his death the world deceiv’d

Less than his wondrous life surpriz’d;

For if he like a madman liv’d

At least he like a wise one dy’d.”

And perhaps it was Cervantes himself who believed, as did his character, that the world “sees people as they are — I see them as they can be!” For Cervantes may never have accomplished such a magnificent work had he not seen some potential within himself that was hidden from the rest of the world. He knew, and has taught others ever since, that great truth: what we see will come to be.

Some see situations as they are, others as they can be. Some see people as they are, others as they can be. And some see themselves as they are, others as they can be.

But when we look beyond the present reality, dismal as it may seem, and set our sights upon the best that is within a situation or a human being, then, too, what we see will come to be. And we’ll know the power of hope.

Author unknown. If anyone has a proprietary interest in this story please authenticate and I will be happy to credit, or remove, as the circumstances dictate.

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Miguel de Cervantes