"A novice went to Abbot Macarius seeking advice about the best way to please the Lord.
"Go to the cemetery and insult the dead," said Macarius.
The brother did as he was told. The following day, he returned to Macarius.
"Did they respond?" asked the abbot.
The novice said, "No, they didn't."
"Then go to them and praise them."
The novice obeyed. That same afternoon, he returned to the abbot, who again wished to know whether the dead had responded.
"No," said the novice.
"In order to please the Lord, behave as they do," said Macarius. "Pay no heed to the insults of men, nor to their praise; in this way, you shall forge your own path.""