Everybody Has A Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Lately, I’ve allowed myself the luxury of reflecting on youthful misconceptions that I had about life. It’s kind of like checking back with young Susie to see if older Susie has made any progress. My younger self spent a fair amount of time daydreaming about becoming famous and respected for an outstanding talent, yet-to-be-determined. My youthful pursuits, based on these dreams of fame and recognition, quickly petered out, and I believe that I know why. They required hard work that I wasn’t willing to give (too lazy). They didn’t use my natural gifts or interests. And, most importantly, they were based on a VERY shallow value system. I had connected fame to worth.

What makes a person truly great? I thought about famous people, whose greatness cannot be denied. Mother Theresa came to mind. Her profound faith and humble, unselfish devotion to the poor, follows Christ’s guidelines to the letter, “Whoever wishes to become great among you, shall be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26)  I thought of Mahatma Gandhi, his peaceful, non-violent pursuit of independence for India is a playbook for any good revolution and his words are priceless diamonds, that still move us to do the right thing. Helen Keller, who overcame her own disabilities to devote her life to helping others who were blind and deaf, left a profound mark on the world. When I think about the level of frustration Helen must have felt to learn one letter, I wonder why I don’t speak several languages? There is no denying that these people are outstanding. The world is a better place because of them and countless others like them, but did they change MY world? Their examples have certainly inspired me and I might benefit from their work, but were they personally “great” to ME? No, they weren’t.

Who are the famous “greats” in my life?  Who are the people that served me, gave me words of wisdom, and showed me how to persevere through handicaps and trials?  Well, they are individuals who have the same qualities of the famous varieties previously mentioned. They care about others and they have a deep understanding of what is truly right. The choices of their lives are good examples for me.  The choices of their lives have directly impacted me in a positive way. They were/are joyful to their core, despite life’s circumstances. However, unlike the famous versions, I don’t have to read about them. I can or could touch them, talk to them, and observe their goodness first-hand. They are or were humble, accessible, loving, ready to give, ready to help, and ready to overlook and forgive. These people are as great, in my mind, as any of the aforementioned heroes. I didn’t always realize how incredible they are and have been to me, but thankfully, I’ve lived long enough to know better.

I realized many years ago that I am not that unique. By that, I mean if I’ve experienced something basic to being human, many others have experienced the same thing. So, I suspect that everyone has probably had a “Mother Theresa” or two in their life. Thank goodness, huh? Naturally, this research of the mind and heart has made me wonder if I will be a “great” for someone? I’m hoping to.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” -Mother Teresa

“Man becomes great exactly in the degree in which he works for the welfare of his fellow-men.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” -Helen Keller

Category: Thoughts on Life 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Everybody Has A Mother Teresa”

  1. emily

    Wow, Mom – inspiring! Thank you for being one of my biggest “greats.”

  2. Grandma B

    Oh, yes…I think you get alot of credit for being a “Mother Teresa” to more people then you realize!!! I enjoyed your blog and it made me think also about life in general. Thanks!

  3. emilee

    wonderful post!

    you are most certainly great and i feel blessed to have you in my life!


  4. sue

    I feel blessed to have YOU in my life, Emilee!

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