Lighting up the Blog-o-sphere one flicker at a time, 4/5/12
Welcome to my weekly adventure to “Occupy the Blog-o-Sphere” each Thursday. I offer this hopefully uplifting picture and message to brighten your day and bring something buoyant into your life. As you move through your day with a renewed outlook, may you pass it along.
During my sister’s fifty-something birthday celebration last weekend, my mom mentioned a book she wanted to read, An Unquenchable Thirst: Following Mother Theresa in Search of Love, Service and an Authentic Life. She saw the author of this memoir, Mary Johnson, interviewed on the Rosie Show. Now an ex-nun, Ms. Johnson spoke of her disappointment with her experiences being a nun and told, according to Mom, some unsavory stories about the beloved Mother Theresa–the woman who inspired Ms. Johnson to become a nun. My mom wants to read this book because Catholic nuns raised her in a Parisian convent during WWII. Don’t think the accommodations were posh because it was Paris and Mom can tell you stories about how miserable those Women of God were.
I had a hard time believing that Mother Theresa whacked children’s knuckles with rulers or deprived them of food so she could chow down on whatever food-stuffs were available. “Well, this woman said so to Rosie,” Mom defended the Mother-Theresa-as-Evil-Nun Hypothesis. “I’m sure she knows more about Mother Theresa than I do,” I said, “but a tell-all book about Mother Theresa’s dark side has to be a pretty short read.” Everyone around the table who heard me erupted with laughter. Except Mom. She tends to believe what she sees on the Rosie Show. “I’ll get you the book for Mother’s Day, Mom. Let’s see what this disappointed ex-nun has to say, okay?” It was my way of smoothing things over.
I suppose you never really know a person, do you? I don’t know Mother Theresa; I just know what the media tells me she did with her life and her consistent messages of love and acceptance of all people. I don’t know Mary Johnson; I just know that all memoirs contain the author’s emotionally charged memories of events as they remember them, not necessarily as they occurred. But maybe as they occurred.
Today, I’m going to take a page out of Mother Theresa’s book and give other’s the benefit of the doubt, my doubt. Since I don’t know much for sure, I’m going to err on the side of presuming the best intentions in people. Does this make me naïve? Perhaps. Does this make my heart more open. Absolutely.
Nun or not, perfect or flawed, I’m going to practice what Mother Theresa practiced: I’m going to make a positive difference in someone’s life today. Maybe it will just be smiling to someone who seems to be having a bad day or letting someone in an obvious hurry go ahead of me at the grocery store check-out. Even the smallest act of kindness can make a big difference.
That’s what I’m going to do today. Maybe you could, too.
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