a tickle of words to create smiles

Posts tagged ‘Mother Teresa’

Learned In Life…

Yesterday, I came across a little book that I have had for years (almost 20 years) entitled: The Most Important Thing I’ve Learned in Life. It is a book compiled of quotes from notable and everyday people alike on just that…what they felt was the most important thing they learned in life. The most intriguing part of this compilation is that a sixteen year old young man named Beau Bauman created it. He started this project at the tender age of thirteen. I am delighted that he was able to follow through on this wonderful project during the most active years in a teenagers life. (He could have easily put it aside to do a number of other activities that young boys do.)

When Bauman started this project, he collected mailing addresses of a wide diversity of notable people such as Stephen Hawking, Phyllis Diller, Arnold Palmer, and Mother Teresa. He plunged right into this project with youthful optimism. You got to love his Chutzpah (courage and enthusiasm). Most of the responses came via postal mail, with a few face-to-face and phone responses, which is not surprising given that he did this project back in 1993. If he did this today, he would have been facilitated by the internet.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes to the question, “What is the most important thing you’ve learned in life?“:

“What I have learned from life is to make the most of what you have got.” ~ Stephen Hawking, professor of mathematics, physicist, and author; University of Cambridge; England

“The cheapest gift I have to give is kindness, and it is the best.” ~ Bob Kerry, Senator from Nebraska

“Believe you can do anything you want to do if you work hard enough to achieve it. If you believe in yourself so will others.” ~ Graham Green, First Secretary to the Ambassador of Canada

“Happiness is not a string of miscellaneous adventures or experiences but an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” ~ Francesca Reigler, artist

“The purpose of lie is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and share. When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people’s lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them. “ ~ Rabbi Harold Kushner

“Never be afraid to ask a question, especially of yourself – discovery is the mission of life.” ~ Brian Kates, author, journalist

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living. Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up of familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, relationships that have lost their meaning. As Dostoevsky put it, ‘taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.’ The real fear should be the opposite course.” ~ Gail Sheehy, author

“Spending time with my family; watching my children grow up. Try t make the world a better place; be part of the solution not the problem. Have your work help others. Study–learn–grow.” ~ Ted Turner, founder of CNN and TBS

“If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think that you dare not, you don’t;
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;
For out in the world; you’ll find
Success begins with a fellow’s will–
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise;
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
to the stronger or faster man;
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.”
~ Unattributed poem submitted by Arnold Palmer, professional golfer

“The most important thing that I have learned early in life is to know God loves me and to love others as  He loves me. “ ~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Today, my response to this young man would be: The most important thing I’ve learned in life is: Love comes in many forms, the less conditional it is the more blissful you feel. Furthermore, the gift of love has to be given without strings attached, no expectations. Only in this way will you feel blissful, tranquil and content.

Back in 1993, when Bauman compiled his quotes, I was nearly as young as he was. My answer most assuredly would have been different; but, maybe not hugely different. I had just finished college and was starting my career. I most likely would have responded on the topic of patience, courage and perseverance. Life will give you what you give it. The more you put into anything, the more you get out of it; however, that line of thinking implies expectation.

It is better to pursue your dreams with passion and love, but without expectation. Simply said, enjoy the moment, savor the journey and delight in the process. How would I answer Bauman’s question tomorrow or next year, I have no idea because as I experience life, I learn new lessons. Perhaps there really is not one most important thing to learn in life. Life’s lessons are ongoing; they accumulate and bring us wisdom to our next experience.

My question to all my readers, “What is the most important thing you’ve learned in life?” and let me add, “has it changed from yesteryear or even yesterday? Will it be different tomorrow?” Also, “what advice would you give to your younger self if you were ever given the opportunity to travel back in time?”



Use Words for Encouragement

Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29 NLT

Kind words that are spoken to others are not only good and helpful, but these words also lift the spirits of both the recipient and the speaker of those words. It is a double blessing as well as being an act of love and compassion.  In order to let everything we say be good and helpful, we are given the opportunity to take pause to reflect and think before we speak. We get to take time with others. We are afforded the chance to be deliberately mindful and kind. Then in turn, our words will be encouraging and may be even inspiring to those who hear them. Now, that is a beautiful gift.

One of my favorite quotes that reinforces today’s message that I never grow tired of hearing and expressing is from Mother Teresa: Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their
echoes are truly endless.

Also, making the rounds on the internet is the “Before You Speak…THINK” campaign. The campaign’s anagram uses THINK, which conveys the above bible quote beautifully: “Before you speak, THINK: Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it necessary? Is it kind?” I used these words to create the above image to go with today’s message. Feel free to share it as long as you keep my website information on it. May this inspire you over the holidays as we mingle with friends and family whom we have not seen in a while (for one reason or another). Be the change you wish to see in the world and in them. THINK. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

The Smile

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. ~ Mother Teresa

Her gentle smile removed all worries…have you ever experienced that gentle smile? Maybe it was at the doctor’s office from the unnamed medical assistant; maybe it was the nameless cashier who handled your purchases at the grocery store; or maybe it was the unknown driver in the car next to yours. A smile is a gift. A gift we can share and a gift we can receive. Smiles have a way of removing fear and putting you at ease. I find when I smile, even at myself, it puts me in a wonderful state of mind. Smile, and the world smiles with you.

The above artwork is an original painting I did today in watercolor. The idea was to capture a gentle smile for my blog today. I added a little color pencil for the fine detail work. Not only do her lips smile, but so do her eyes. May this smile bring one to your face. If you would like to see more of my artwork you can find it on these three locations on the internet: 1. Blissful Art (Word Press blog), 2. Angela Kowitz Orobko, Ed.D. – Gallery  and 3. Hearts That Care – Gallery


Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.
~ Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is one of my favorite people who I delight in quoting. Most of her words are filled with love and wisdom that speak to my heart. Love and kindness are a standard I try my best to live in my thoughts, words and actions. One of the best ways to engage in conversations with someone you do not know is to express kindness to him or her. Today, when I was at Costco, I complimented a woman on her purchase of colorfully foiled chocolate eggs. They were truly beautiful.

She immediately gave me a warm smile and we enjoyed a brief, but joyful conversation. As she left the store, she seemed to be a bit happier than before we had our conversation.  I wonder how the rest of her day went. I was happier. It made picking up more frozen vegetables and Greek yogurt a bit more pleasant. The quick reminder in all this is, whenever you can, seize the opportunity to deliver genuine kind words to everyone you encounter in your day. You never know how far those words will carry onward. I am sending forth my warm wishes to each of you who are reading this, joy and delight for the rest of your day, week, and weekend.

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