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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"The little Ways" to Peace and Happiness.

I am a mother of 3,who's daily life revolves around errands,laundry,child rearing,and every other possible hat that a mother could wear. How could I possibly take the time to make this world a better place? I've thought of this so many times. When I was younger I wanted to go to South America and help with the Catholic Missions there. Do what was needed to help. When I was teaching I had the honor of teaching at some of the lower socioeconomic schools that really needed someone like me who cared. But what now? When my children are my sole responsibility? How do I teach them to be empathetic to those around me,not just those that visibly need it but to those that you would never guess do?

The man who just found out his wife has cancer.
The wife who found out her husband is cheating on her.
The older lady who hasn't heard from her kids in months.
The everyday person who fights as big a fight as we do(and sometimes even greater)

So I remembered reading about a girl named Therese Martin who was born in France,the youngest of 9. Her mother died when she was 4 years old so she was raised by her father and sisters. She didn't do anything extraordinary or amazing that touched the world at the point in which she lived. She did something even greater she described her life in her book "Story of a Soul" as a "little way of spiritual childhood." She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God's love. "What matters in life," she wrote, "is not great deeds, but great love." Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamored with what is before her, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese's spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

I realized that one doesn't need to raise millions of dollars to help the poor of the world or win the Nobel Peace prize to make a difference. We need to do the little things to make the world a better place. Everyone is fighting a bigger battle and sometimes the seemingly perfect individual behind you in line might be about to loose it all.

I call you all to make a difference in our world by the little things.
Let the person coming out of the mall go in front of you in traffic.
Buy the coffee for the person behind you in the Drive thru line.
Help someone with the door.
Drop a note to a friend just to say hi and hope all is well.
Take some cookies to a neighboor.
Visit that elderly lady down the street that may not have talked to anyone in weeks.
The list goes on and on.

There are infinite possibilities if we look around. We can do to make someone feel a little better. It's hard,God knows my frustration level is at an all time high many times just trying to keep my bearings with the kids. But won't our example be enough of a prize with our kids? When they learn from what we show them. Don't kids pick up on EVERYTHING? Including actions and words we would rather they don't?

I'm not asking you to completely change your life. Just make an effort to help one person a week. Then maybe a person every other day and well it will all become second nature to the point where others will catch on.
We are living in such a rough tough world. No one cares about the person next to them. As a society we have become self involved in our needs,wants and desires. We no longer look in helping our neighbor or those that are less fortunate. We tend to shun away from things that might be uncomfortable or un-fulfilling. To live in little bubbles that allow immediate gratifications to get in.

Let's change this! Slowly let's take Therese's little ways and make them our own. Make these our little footprints in the world. I know I will never win the Nobel Peace prize or discover the cure for something but If I try,just try to add these little ways into my own for the love of people and God maybe just maybe my imprint in this world will have made a difference.


jen said...

If you haven't read it already, get your hands on a copy of "Shirt of Flame" by Heather King. I read it last year and it was AMAZING. (I had read "Story of a Soul" for my Senior Seminar in college 10 years earlier.)

Allison@TotusTuus said...


Leanne @ Life Happens When said...

This was beautiful and exactly what I strive for every day! I must admit, it is sometimes HARD to do things like that in a self centered world. I sometimes have to bite my tongue at the lack of generosity and gratitude around me! I want to show my children to do those things anyway regardless of what other people do (or don't do). Thanks for the reminder!

Jennifer Y said...

Possibly one of the most important and most difficult things we are called to do. Beautiful post!

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"Never has the devil found such fertile territory upon which to work as in this era when his very existence is denied by so many" - St. Padre Pio