Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
– Mother Teresa
I’ve been getting to know Mother Teresa a little better over the last couple of weeks, and this quote jumped off the page for me this morning. Oh so right. True. I’ve seen it, I’ve given it, I’ve felt it. Words echo in our minds for all the days of our lives, as ever-present, as memories that come back in the moments, as reminders of who we are and how people see us, how people love us, how we are when we come Alive.
We don’t always hear them. Feel them. Know them. Sometimes we hear words but we don’t absorb them. They don’t ‘sink in’. Perhaps we doubt ourselves, perhaps we believe that we are not worthy. Humility isn’t a bad characteristic, and neither is shyness. It’s noble of you to feel like that. But allow yourself to let the words sink in. Allow yourself to know how special you are. How unique you are, and how much you give to others without even realizing it, without limiting your vision of yourself. Say “I’m amazing” now, while you look in the mirror at yourself. Go on. Stop objecting. Do it! You’ll feel better about yourself. Someone got me to do it once and ever since I’ve been able to see a little more of myself in the way that others do.
Each of us may be just one person in a huge ocean of people. But there’s no ‘just’ really. You’re one person who purely in existing changes the world. And when you open your mouth, when you put your hand to the hand of another, the world about us changes. And in the stillness we hear the voice of peace.
The words echo as reminders. The words echo to let you know as often as you are willing to listen, that you… yes you… are amazing. Being you, with the gifts God has given you, with the bonds that you and your loved ones share, are a brilliant person. Maybe you’ve done things in the past that you regret, that you feel ashamed of or sorry of, that you worry about, that make you feel like you could always have been better.
But my dear that’s not true. We could say, ‘no-ones perfect’. But that’s not true either. Because you are perfect. Because you are human. We can’t get everything right. But as we learn from past experiences, as time goes by and we grow more and more in every day, as we learn and keep learning for every day that we live upon this earth, we live as the person that we are, and are perfect in our own way. Perfection doesn’t mean comparing yourself to the person next to you.
Maybe you’re a C-grade student. It doesn’t mean you’re any less perfect than the A-grade student. It’s not your intelligence and ability to memorize things that counts. It’s your ability to live openly, giving life all you have, being the best you can be, and putting in all the effort you can muster to achieve. It’s not the letter on the paper that counts, it’s your ability to keep going and be you. And as I learnt from Benjamin Zander, that my dear makes you the A that you are, no matter what OCR or AQA might say.
Perhaps you work in a retail store and your best friend’s a counselor. How many people smile in a retail store? Bring passion and love with you to work and allow the light inside you to come out amongst others. No one job is better than another. Each job in society contributes in its own way. And each person is called, or desires, to do different things with their lives. What matters is what you do with your job, whether you bring yourself out into it as completely, as fully, as you can. In doing work that you love, in being yourself.
The words echo so that you know how much other people love you, and, how much God loves you too.
Hear the echoes.