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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.

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This great story from Paulo Coelho comes from his book Like a Flowing River.

A father was trying to read the newspaper, but his little son kept pestering him.

Finally, the father grew tired of this and, tearing a page from the newspaper – one that bore a map of the world – he cut it into many pieces and handed them to his son.

‘Right, now you’ve got something to do. I’ve given you a map of the world and I want to see if you can put it back together correctly.’

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Two porcupines

Image via Wikipedia

Paulo Coelho tells the story about when the Ice Age came and porcupines had to find a way to survive.

At first they decided to group together to keep warm and protect one another.

Unfortunately, their spiky quills made it uncomfortable to stay in such close proximity, so they dispersed.

Of course, this left them exposed to the elements and they started to freeze to death until they realised that they needed to make a significant choice.

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