“An act of goodness is of itself and act of happiness…”

“An act of goodness is of itself and act of happiness. No reward…”

Maurice Maeterlinck, 20th Century Belgian playwright, poet, and essayist

Image from Unsplash by Helena Lopes

FULL QUOTE: “An act of goodness is of itself and act of happiness. No reward coming after the event can compare with the sweet reward that went with it.”

To what degree is the phrase “It is better to give than receive” true for you?

Take a close look at the acts of goodness you have offered others over the years. How does this trip down memory lane bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling in your heart?

Of course, it is always nice to reap the benefits of reciprocity, but this is not always offered and, in most cases given today’s quote, not needed. How might the simple act of supporting and serving others be more than enough to be happy?


Who are some of the happiest people you know?

How often do you notice their act of goodness as a source of their happiness?

What lessons can and will you take from their examples?

“It is difficult to bring people to goodness with lessons, but it is easy to do so by example.”

“It is difficult to bring people to goodness with lessons, but it is easy to do so by example.”

—Seneca, ancient Greek philosopher

Image from National Geographic

I recently watched the National Geographic documentary, Fauci, to learn more about him and his work. Covid-19 has placed him in both the limelight and the headlights and I wanted to know more.

Now eighty years old, this man has dedicated his life — usually six days a week and often putting in 12–14 hour days — to the health of people not only in the United States but throughout the world. His steadfast work ethic, scientific discipline, and objectivity were also instrumental in combating both AIDS and Ebola.

Dr. Fauci’s example of hard work and treating people with fairness and respect are good lessons for us all. He humbly admits to his shortcomings over the years, often placing his family and others behind his work —  another example of always trying to do better.


Who are those you respect that bring people to goodness through their example? How can and do you strive to set a good example for others in your personal and professional communities?

These are the things our souls metabolize

“These are the things that our souls metabolize to be healthy: we need beauty, we need truth, and we need goodness.”

—John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market

Image of sunrise over a mountain, with today's quote
Did you know that the human body can go for more than three weeks without food? The maximum time we can go without water is about a week.

Protein, carbohydrates, and fats make up our food and nourish our bodies for optimal health.

Today’s quote suggests that feeding our souls requires beauty, truth, and goodness if we are to flourish and thrive.


What is it that you hunger for? What do your body and soul need most for optimal health? How would incorporating greater beauty, truth, and goodness in each day enrich and improve your life?

Goodness is easier to recognize than to define

“Goodness is easier to recognize than to define.”

—W. H. Auden, 20th Century English-American Poet

Defining something limits what it is. Recognizing or distinguishing something opens up and expands the possibility of what it can be.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the following list of words. Try to define them and then explore the many factors or qualities that can be attributed to them:

• Happiness
• Health
• Quality Relationships
• Success
• Mastery
• Leadership
• Professionalism


What does it mean to be a good person? What is it that you observe and recognize in yourself and those around you when you experience goodness?

How would you answer similar questions in your recognition of the seven words above, exploring one per day in the coming week?

What other words might you add to this list that would be worth far greater recognition?