As August is Woman's Month I thought it fitting to look at some life lessons we can learn from women who have been a great inspiration for countless of women the world over. One of the most amazing women in the world was certainly Mother Theresa.
She was born on the 26th of August in 1910. She was a nun who devoted her entire live to the helping of the poor and the sick. This selfless and humble women touched and changed countless people's lives.
Here are eight of the most valuable lessons she has taught us.
1. “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.”
This question is a favourite one asked by almost every Miss World or Miss Universe television host when interviewing the contestants. The answers are often elaborate in order to promote the contestants brilliant mind, yet this woman of such diminutive stature comes with a simple answer: go home and love your family. How profound this is. We can forget to ever attain world peace if our families are in distress. Peace begins at home by loving on another, by accepting and nurturing each member of our families. When we as a family is at peace with one another, we can reach out to others with love and peace.
2.“Peace begins with a smile..” “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
Smile. This little facial feature can cross the divide between different religions, races and cultures. It can change the hearts of people. It can bring comfort to the sad and lonely. It can lift the spirits of a weary heart and it can unite people. A smile is never passive, it is good thoughts put in action. If you can get your enemy to smile, you have found an open window into his heart (my quote, hehe).
3. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
All of us wish that we could change the world, but most of us feel that it is useless to even try as we feel that our voice means nothing against the roar of the mighty ocean. Yet Mother Theresa encourage us to be that little pebble that can ripple across my life's pond. I can make a difference in my little circle of influence and if enough people toss their pebbles in the pond, we can together become a mighty wave of change.
4. “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
We have just had elections in our country. Most people vote because they would like to see change. Most of us feel that we have done our bit for democracy, for change and good government. Now we sit back and wait for the leaders to take charge and make things happen. The sad truth is that nothing much will happen or change if we do not take charge. We cannot wait for others to affect the change we want if we ourselves do not take responsibility and become the change we want to see in the world. We have to do it one step at a time right there, first of all in our own circle.
5. “The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence. The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence. Silence gives us a new perspective.”
We, especially us as women, have so much to say. We love hearing our own voice, we love talking. There is nothing wrong with that. Talking is sharing, ans getting to know one another. However, sometimes it is good to be silent. Silence improves our ability to listen. It is in the silence where we can hear God speak, we can hear the whispers of our soul and we can hear the anguish in somebody else's heart. Spend at least ten minutes a day in silence. Be quiet and listen. Psalm 46:16 call us to be silent and know that God is the Lord.
6. “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
This is so true. Love and judgement never share the same seat. We cannot profess to love someone, but at the same time sit in judgement over them. To love somebody means to accept them warts and all. We cannot be selective about which part of them we love and which part we hate. It is important to take note of the fact that there is a difference between judgement and discernment. Discernment comes down to the ability to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong, but I do not judge people for the choices which they make. Accepting people and respecting the choices they make also does not mean that we condone what they have done, but rather that we love them despite doing things differently to what we would have done. Our duty is not to judge, but simply to love. Leave the judging to the judges and the Lord.
7. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
We love reminiscing about the past and we love dreaming about tomorrow and thus another day slip by in which we did not accomplish much. We have all fallen victim to this at some time or another. The truth, however, is that we only have this day, this one today and we dare not waste it. Let us wake up and get going. Do not put off for another second that which you would like to do. Do it NOW!!!
8. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Speaking comes very easily to most of us. Our tongues react very quickly to our thoughts. We very seldom think about the words we speak and the effect which they can have on people. Yet, words are seldom just words. Words are loaded with meaning and potential. Words have the power to create or destroy, it can build or demolish. Words usually lead to actions. The words we speak can help to shape a person's life, the effect of it visible for years to come. Words have started wars and words have empowered people. Words can bring light and life or they can destroy. King Solomon wrote this about words in Proverbs 18:21(KJV)
" Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof."
Let us be careful with our words. Let us choose to be kind, always.
As women we have a responsibility to make the world a better place. Let us make every effort to live up to our purpose.
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