North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mother Teresa's 100th [memorial] birthday

Nuns in the same order commemorating Mother Teresa in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

If Mother Teresa were still alive, she'd be 100 today. With the world in-between major developments and headlines, perhaps there's a bit of room to explore some reflections being made on this occasion, nearly 13 years after her death.

Here's all that made the news in the India Times: "The 100th birth anniversary of Mother Teresa was celebrated by the volunteers of Subeh-e-Banaras, a social organisation, at Bhartendu Park, Maidagin, on Thursday."

From a writer aware of a rally in New York city in Mother Teresa's honor, comes the following: "Mother Teresa rarely celebrated her birthday herself, and would, we are sure, be appalled to hear that this anniversary of her birth had been used to create such a storm." (something about a self-serving celebration for a local politician climbing on the back of Mother Teresa's memory ...)

There was a longer piece in the Christian Science Monitor, more thoughtful and broad, that noted the impact of this woman's life on the concept of volunteering itself. "When Mother Teresa began her work with the poor of Calcutta, she also opened her doors to drop-in backpackers who wanted to volunteer. One of those was Susan Drees Kadota, an American, who spent 2-1/2 months bathing, feeding, and simply talking with disabled residents. Ms. Kadota connected with one young woman, who, because of a physical deformity, had been turned out by her family. "You know," she told Kadota, "it’s really nice just to talk to people.” Kadota took it as a life lesson: “Taking time out of your so-called busy life to be with people is important and useful.”

Mother Teresa may be remembered most today – her 100th birthday anniversary – for her lifelong work with the poor. But she also helped expand the modern notion of going on an overseas mission, encouraging ordinary people taking short breaks and volunteer on vacations..." The article goes on to quote a Catholic priest who tracked volunteerism and short term missions, " ... Perhaps one of the most significant features of short-term mission – even missions lasting up to two years – is how it can change the lives of those who experience it,”

While one Indian newspaper gave short shrift, and a New York city blogger emphasized a controversial aspect of remembrance, there were numerous observances by the poor of India, and by volunteers of all sorts around the world who were nudged by the example of this modest little woman. Mother Teresa noted for her work

But the simple notion of spending time with others as a noble and worthwhile activity is a nice reminder for us all

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