Every now and then a quote floats by on Facebook that makes me pause for a moment. This one was from Mother Teresa, a wise woman if ever I saw one. The quote? “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
I think most people would agree that Mother Teresa did great things in her life but one of her predominant traits was that she was focused on the needs of others and not on herself. Born in the Balkans, this tiny lady joined a Catholic convent at the age of 18 and went on to become a well-known public figure who touched millions of lives. She was a woman with a true calling who spent 45 years serving the poor and sick before going on to her own final reward and being canonized by her church.
Now, I’m not suggesting that we should all be like Mother Teresa and join a convent. In fact, that wouldn’t even be an option for most of us. But the spirit of what she says should ring true in all of our lives – to do small things with great love. It’s an interesting idea if you think hard enough about it – and in some ways, it goes against the grain of our American culture. You see, in order to do small things with great love, you have to be thinking about the other person in a situation as much or more than you are of yourself, whereas our culture teaches us that it’s every man (or woman) for himself, you’ve got to take care of number one, yada yada.
But this doesn’t have to be such a dichotomy. You see, in most situations, the best outcome is the one that serves the needs of everyone and doesn’t result in a win for one at the loss of the other. It’s the third option – my personal favorite – that we often don’t see when we are locking horns fighting for self-preservation.
So, here’s my thought for today, folks. Always be on the lookout for that third option, that way to help everyone succeed rather than someone have to fail, that small thing that you can do with great love. It’s usually there, if we only take the time to look for it.
And if you get a chance to visit someone from a religious order, do it. They are wonderful people. And some of then even knit…but that’s another story, which I think I’ll save for tomorrow.