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!

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The Curious Case of Street Sweepers

Recently, I was asked to give my definition of success. I was really intrigued by it, and, being me, I couldn’t just accept the first thing that popped into my head. It had to be more complicated than that. Listening to speeches at graduation (not mine) also stimulated this thought process, so here I am, ready to write.

I feel like I’ve always been aware of the fact that success does not correlate to how much money one might own. Mother Teresa was successful, was she not? If money and success were directly proportional, she would be considered a failure. And yet, she chose that poverty as her medium to touch hundreds upon hundreds of lives. So it’s not difficult for me to say that money does not indicate any level of success.

But then, what does? There’s no way to measure success. There is no formula that will calculate how successful one is. Because the term can be applied to so many different things, it’s hard to come up with a single definition for it. Alas, I come to my own definition, probably somewhat lacking in some way: doing your best with what you’ve got. Martin Luther King Jr. said (much more eloquently than I), “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.'” That, to me, sounds like a successful life. Street sweeping, like janitorial jobs, is not a glamorous profession. But thank goodness for the people who do it, because without them, our world might end up stinky and smelly and gross.

We all have different gifts and talents, different ways to impact the world. Albert Einstein is credited with this quote, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Everybody has something to give. Mother Teresa gave her compassion. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his courage and leadership. Albert Einstein gave his brain. Were they millionaires? No. but they impacted the world because they saw what they could give, and they gave it wholeheartedly. Even if that something happened to be as unglamorous as street sweeping, they gave it. Success is not easy to attain, or else it wouldn’t be worthy of our notice. Sometimes we have to go through pain, stress, and hardship. And a lot of times, being successful won’t get us a lot of notice. No Nobel Peace Prize, no Tony. There isn’t a Parenting Olympics or a Good Advice Giving Award. But is it worth it?

Oh yeah.