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.

If you were really good, the nuns would let you play in the water. Just kidding. But Mom's stories were hair-raising. I'm not sure how the nuns in Calcutta compare to the ones in WWII Paris convents.

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.

Maybe she was just there for a photo-op, like your run-of-the-mill politician. But I don't think so...

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.

“It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters.”

Mother Theresa

One at a time, please. I'm trying to be nice and let you clean my face because that's what you seem to want to do, but did you have to tackle me? This loving-kindness stuff isn't for sissies.

Click on this link to find out more about joining this cyber-movement to lighten up and brighten up our world so you can decide if you want to be part of it.

~ by Lorna's Voice on April 5, 2012.

18 Responses to “Lighting up the Blog-o-sphere one flicker at a time, 4/5/12”

  1. That would be refreshing and illuminating. Maybe there would be less voter apathy…

  2. If that was your intent, it will, Lorna. It will shine through.

    When I think about a book written to “expose” someone (with bona fide facts hopefully), I remember something :

    I’m not a Baha’i, but a dear friend who is, explained that in that faith any word or gesture that intends to reduce another is the gravest offense that can be committed. As I’ve cogitated over that for many years, I see its reason and value more and more.

    If I ruled the world (ugh!) politicians would not be allowed to put-down, accuse, criticize or condemn other parties. They could present facts, backed by concrete evidence and without editorializing. The focus would come off denigrating others and be put on what they and their party were accomplishing.

  3. I agree. We have to meet unkindness with kindness. I hope that came across…

  4. Glad you like the idea. You can get in on it–just post something you find inspirational every Thursday and be sure to include a link back to Soul Dipper’s blog and her placard. I like finding different things to post each week. I think Mother Theresa would have liked this one, too. 🙂

  5. That’s why I’m getting the book for my mom. I want to read it, too.

  6. I wonder what would motivate Mary Johnson to speak ill of Mother Theresa, or of any one, for that matter.

  7. Interesting post. I like the idea of lighting up the blogosphere one light at the time. And, lighting up the world one small act at a time. I suspect Mother Teresa likes it too.

  8. This doesn’t surprise me…not even people with miles of goodness in their wake will escape the hurled bane of cynics.

    The message says more about the teller than the told.

    Perspective, gossip, innuendo…it all builds great fodder to find fault and criticize.

    That’s the default position (sadly – humanity’s negative nature) that I want the Occupy Blogosphere to touch and transform.


  9. You never know…well, maybe someday you know! 😉

  10. I’m afraid to die …. all the bad stuff comes out shortly after.
    MMmm …. will have to start doing good stuff to erase those.
    ~~~~~~~~~~ : – )
    Interesting concept – Mother Theresa a bad girl. I probably partied with her and didn’t recognize her without her habit. LOLOL

  11. Thanks! Now let’s all go out and do something small that will make a big difference…

  12. Oh, Ursula, that must have been a shocker! Since here in America we say “mom,” that mistake is less likely to occur. That darned alphabet will get you ever time. Sorry about the confusion. (But it is kind of funny.) 😉

  13. Me too! I always believe what I hear on talk shows and what I read in the National Enquirer, because those folks have “inquiring minds” (but just don’t know how to spell). 😉

  14. Yes, it’s easy to be cynical in this world. People who aren’t are often seen as silly or “easy marks.” But I believe that most people are good at heart, even if I don’t always (or ever) understand what they do or say. 🙂

  15. Great post. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is important. I have to constantly remind myself to do it and remember that everyone is not out to hurt my feelings or make me upset. lol.

  16. I always suspected Mother Teresa was really a beer-swilling, over-bearing, sex-crazed, druggie. That’s why I always watch the Rosie show to get the real facts.

  17. You most certainly have made a difference to my life in general, and today in particular, if probably not in the way you intended: I regret that the letters ‘n’ and ‘m’ look so similar, and maybe my eyesight isn’t what it was. So I read your first few lines as: “Now an ex-Mum, Ms. Johnson spoke of her disappointment with her experiences being a mum and told…”

    I was horrified: What’s an ‘ex-mum’? Who has died? Mother or child? ‘Her disappointment … being a mum?’ Pardon?

    And yes, it can be tough to be loved: A cat’s tongue is pretty rough and abrasive.


  18. An interesting post and a beautiful quotation. Thank you for reminding us that it is the small things that make all the difference and even in our busy lives we can all make time for the small things that make a huge difference in the lives of others.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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