3 Days, 3 Challenges Quote 1: Mother Teresa Teaches About Love and Pain

Well, I missed the blog’s 3rd birthday ’cause I was in Turkey, so happy belated three years, everyone!

Anyways, this post is actually a response to my first blog challenge! So exciting! On to business and fewer exclamation marks now…

A Cool Glass of Lemonade has been nominated to participate in the  3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge by Carly of The Daily Geekette. Thank you Carly for the nomination!

The rules of the challenge are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (one quote per day).
  3. Nominate three new bloggers each day.

I’m going to start with my favorite quote, spoken by the inspirational Mother Teresa. It’s actually really hard to pick a favorite quote by her, because she has so many excellent quotes. Anyways, here goes:

“I have found the paradox: that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”
~ Mother Teresa

I feel like I shouldn’t even write anymore because nothing I can say will be as beautiful, simple, or pure as what she said, but I guess I will try to write some. I learned of this from a friend who knew that I liked quotes. It’s actually funny because the first time I heard this, I didn’t like it that much. It didn’t seem that profound or interesting to me. But I always kept it in the back of my mind, and as I grew older, I learned to see and appreciate the wisdom in it.

heart 1As we grow up, our idea of love changes. At first, it’s just a pretty red heart, a valentine. Its shape is always symmetrical and smooth. It’s pointy on one end, but it’s not painful or ugly in any way. It’s just pretty and dependable and fun to doodle.

heart 2

Then we get older, and we learn that hearts don’t look like that at all. Hearts are for pumping blood and getting oxygen to different parts of our bodies. Hearts are so vital to life. And it’s interesting that that is what we use as the symbol and language of love. We say:
“I love you with all of my heart.”
“My heart has been broken.”

We talk about love using the language of this gross-looking organ that we need to live. It’s not pretty. It doesn’t always work correctly. It can cause pain. And so does love.

Love quite simply, isn’t always beautiful. Real love is the stuff of life, and real life is painful. The act of loving itself causes pain. If we didn’t love, we wouldn’t care enough to feel hurt. That’s why I’ve always adored books and movies that make my cry: because I knew that if I cried, then that means it meant something to me. Tears are like my test to see if it was really that good or not. If we love so much that it hurts, then it’s real love, and real love will always win over the hurt.

Anyway, I wrote more than I thought I would. Thanks for reading!

I nominate:

Cheers!

“You did good”

I just want this to be a quick shout out to all the wonderful teachers out there. Yesterday, I was at my great aunt’s retirement party. She was a kindergarten teacher for many, many years, and I admire her so much for all the patience and endurance she had to use with her job. Since it’s Father’s Day, I’ll recognize my dad, too. He and my mom homeschooled my siblings and I for several years, and they were amazing. My dad was especially a great math teacher; only in 10th grade did I finally get a math teacher that was better than him (and this teacher is so smart, he created his own multivariable calculus course). A lot of times, my dad pushed me in math, and we zoomed through it. It’s true, I didn’t necessarily enjoy math when my dad taught it. But I learned a lot, just the same. I now know (after hearing it multiple times from my dad) that when in doubt, draw a diagram! I remember when he made me create a dimensional drawing of our house. The whole time we did it, I complained about how much work he was making me do. Looking back on it now, I can say that that was such a fun project, and I’m glad he made me do it.

See, I’ve been thinking a lot about some of my best teachers. And it’s kind of funny, but one of my absolute favorite teachers was my 8th grade English teacher. You wouldn’t think that an 8th grade teacher would be so much better than a high school teacher, but this one was. And what made him so great was the standard he set from day 1. On the first day, as teachers have the tendency to do, he gave us the syllabus/course expectations sheet. One of our duties and responsibilities was “to take yourself further than you were yesterday.” Did you catch that? It wasn’t just an expectation or a suggestion; this was a duty and a responsibility. From day 1, he had called us to challenge ourselves. And I did challenge myself. And that is why I can say that I learned so much in that class. It was the first time I had really been challenged in public schooling, and I loved every second of it.

See, the best teachers don’t really care if the work load is sometimes too hard (my freshman science teacher certainly didn’t). The best teachers push you to your absolute limits, and let that experience change the way you think and work. And at the end of the year, you realize how much you really did learn. And when your teacher tells you “you did good” (knowing full well that it’s not grammatically correct, but saying it anyways), they truly mean it.

I challenge you!

Okay, I just had a stressful evening, and I know that I should work right now. Once again, I am writing when I should be working. But I really want to write. If I can do anything, it’s right. And so, here I am, sitting at my computer, trying to come up with something to make me feel better. Alas, I have found my inspiration. Today, my little brother prayed that “all the homeless kids would get Christmas presents and that no one would be lonely on Christmas.” It honestly touched my heart. It touched me so deeply that I cried, though I’ve been crying a lot the past couple days, so I was probably close to tears anyways. But it was just kind of beautiful to see how it’s instinctual to us that Christmas be a season of love and happiness, a time to be with the people you love to enjoy giving and receiving gifts. Christmas is supposed to be a season of love and it just doesn’t make sense for people to be alone.

The sad thing is that, more often than not, neither of those things happen. People rush to and fro, trying to buy the perfect gift for their friends and families. I don’t know about y’all, but I noticed that Thanksgiving got jipped this year. Everything and everyone was so focused on Black Friday, it was crazy, even more so than in years past. And Christmas remains a season of lights–all trying to outshine one another. Why has it become so competitive and selfish? Seriously guys, Christmas is a birthday celebration. A celebration of a boy BORN IN A MANGER. If that’s not humble, I don’t know what is. I’m sorry, I don’t want to rant.

This season is a season of love. Love is truly at its heart, but we forget that. Because of what my brother said, I want to go out in the streets on Christmas day and just give candy canes to people who look lonely. Maybe I’ll actually do it, maybe I won’t. But I”m definitely going to try to keep an eye out for people in these last few days of school before break. This country, not to mention the world, is going through a lot right now. Imagine what it would be like if we all just stopped and decided to go out of our way to be nice to someone. Or forgive an enemy. Or just smiled at somebody. I am officially challenging myself and ALL OF YOU to try to make someone’s day every day before Christmas. It could be anything. Compliment someone. Smile. Sit next to that lonely kid in class. Notice I don’t say “make someone’s day”, it’s impossible for us to know that what we do is going to be the highlight of someone’s day…. But what if it is?

It’s not going to be easy. But I think we can do it.

Epylle Spydre