Best-selling author of the Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, tells the story of Abbot Lucas, who gathered together his brothers from the monastery of Sceta for a sermon.

“May you all be forgotten,” he said.

“But why?” one of the brothers asked. “Does that mean that our good example can never serve to help someone in need?”

“In the days when everyone was just, no one paid any attention to people who behaved in an exemplary manner,” replied the abbot. “Everyone did their best, never thinking that by behaving thus they were doing their duty by their brother.  They loved their neighbour because they understood that this was a normal part of life.

“They shared their possessions in order not to accumulate more than they could carry, for they understood that journeys lasted a whole lifetime.

“They lived together in freedom, giving and receiving, making no demands on others and blaming no one when things went wrong.

“That is why their deeds were never spoken of and that is why they left no stories. If only we could achieve the same thing now: to make goodness such an ordinary thing that there would be no need to praise those who practice it.”

What a great concept!

May we each influence the world through our goodness that such acts are no longer noteworthy, but completely normal.

And may we be so humble when we perform such acts of goodness that we don’t look for praise from others, but we just do them because we know we must.

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