Welcome to Spotlight, I'm Ryan Geertsma.
And I'm Robin Basselin. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting.
It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Have you ever had a dream? Not a dream during the night.
A dream you have about your future life.
Have you tried every path you can to reach your dreams?
Do you still wonder what it would take to achieve your goals?
If you feel this way, you are not alone.
Many people have dreams.
But often, people do not believe that they can reach these dreams.
A famous writer, named Paulo Coelho, believes that people really can live their dreams.
On his website, he wrote
"The only hidden secret is the hidden power that you have in you."
Today's Spotlight is on the writer Paulo Coelho.
His book, The Alchemist, is one of the best-selling books by a living writer.
People from different religions and different cultures value his teachings.
This is because he encourages people to value their normal lives and to follow their dreams.
Paulo Coelho was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on August 24th, 1947.
As a young man he withdrew from his family and started taking drugs.
His parents were very worried.
So they sent him to a hospital for people with mental problems.
When he left the hospital, he spent most of his time travelling around the world.
He joined a secret religious group that experimented with drugs.
Paulo had not started writing books. But he was writing very popular songs in Brazil for Brazilian musicians.
In 1974, Coelho was arrested and kidnapped by military activists.
This was because of a famous song called "Sociedade Alternativa."
The words to the song made some government officials angry.
They were afraid he was trying to start a protest against them.
After this event, Coelho gave up religion for many years.
Over the next 12 years, Coelho worked many different television and music industry jobs.
He also continued to travel.
In 1986, he decided to travel down an ancient Spanish path called the Road of Santiago.
This trip changed Coelho's life. He began thinking about spiritual things again.
He wondered if he was living his dream.
He describes his experiences from his trip down the Road of Santiago in his book
The Pilgrimage. Coelho writes in his book
"By changing the way you do everyday things you permit a new person to grow inside of you."
Two years later, in 1988, Coelho would publish his most famous book, The Alchemist.
The Alchemist is a book about a shepherd boy named Santiago.
One night while Santiago is sleeping he has a dream.
It tells him where a great treasure is hidden.
He decides to leave his simple farming life.
And he goes searching for the treasure from his dream.
While travelling, Santiago is robbed and beaten.
He believes it was a mistake to follow his dream and decides to go back home.
Santiago works for a year and finally makes enough money to return home.
But before he leaves for home, he decides instead to look for the treasure again.
During his adventures, Santiago meets an Alchemist, a kind of teacher.
He learns many things from the Alchemist.
Finally Santiago finds where he thinks the treasure is hidden.
But before Santiago finds the treasure, a group of robbers appears.
They beat him and rob him.
They force him to continue digging until he finds the treasure.
But the treasure is not there.
One of the robbers gives Santiago an idea about where the real treasure is hidden.
He returns home. Santiago needed to travel to a far land to find treasure at home.
He uses his wealth and wisdom to live a fulfilling life.
Coelho wrote The Alchemist to explain his own life dream.
An Alchemist is someone who tries to turn a common and unimportant material into something of great value.
For example, hundreds of years ago, people tried to turn normal metals into gold.
Ancient alchemists were never able to create gold from common metals.
However, Coelho thinks the theory of alchemy teaches something about humans.
He believes every individual life is like a normal metal. It may seem unimportant and not valuable.
However, each life can be full of power and meaning when the conditions are right.
This may be why people from different religions all over the world respect Paulo Coelho.
His beliefs include parts from many different religions. Manuel da Costa Pinto, a writer for a large Brazilian publication says,
"Coelho writes with a message that confirms common sense. He gives his readers a map for happiness."
Many religious people and literature reviewers criticize Coelho because of what he teaches.
They think he is just telling his readers what they want to hear. They do not think his ideas are reasonable.
But everyone agrees Coelho wants to help his readers to value their lives and to reach their dreams. When asked