Chapter Sixty-Nine

[ a song, R&B/Country-folk ]

             She stood four feet or so, a little smaller than the rest
             A lower door in the east, flowing north, south and west
             She sang her simple song from a river plain and bold
             With feet all gnarled and worn and a heart of purest gold

                   She taught us all to care for our sister and our brother
                   Our father called her friend and we all called her mother

             She cared for the dying, for the sick and for the poor
             She cared for the wealthy, the tired and the sore
             No man on earth could touch her humble soul of graceís fame
             Letting only lepers kiss her, others bowed their head in shame

                   She taught us all to care for our sister and our brother
                   Our father called her friend and we all called her mother
                   Rock stars and presidents honored her as heaven sent
                   As she sat way in the back with her arm around a beggar

             They call me Solomon and I ruled a mighty kingdom
             Iíve known my share of women and know a lady when I see one

             She was a brave and noble soldier, full of humor, truly free
             The most liberated woman of the twentieth century
             She stood four feet or so, a little smaller than the rest
             A lower door in the east, flowing north, south and west *

Missionaries Of Charity       Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Elton John AIDS Foundation
       Debt, AIDS, Trade in Africa

DEDICATED TO:  Sir Bob Geldof, for his amazing efforts to use the music industry to help the sick and poor, to Sir Elton John and U2: Bono, for their continuing efforts to help a great many worthy causes and to the late George Harrison, friend of our Father's beloved children of Bangladesh; from the Hebrew Psalms and other early historical examples on up to the 'Spirituals' and subsequent working-class, folk and sixties protest songs leading to the present world music reality, there is overwhelming evidence that music has enormous potential to move the masses towards both positive and negative contribution.  More than with words of tribute, those involved in modern music and other media who believe that Mohandas Gandhi, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa were aboard the right train and on the right track leading toward Human Rights and Social Justice, would pay them far greater homage if they would rather, purpose in their hearts to use their talents wisely to encourage the population of Planet Earth to move towards positive and peaceful solution.

*FootNote:  Inspired by the personal recollections of Mother Teresa in his book Is That It?, by Sir Bob Geldof.  Commenting that out of all of the grandstanders, pretenders and losers he had run into in life, he states that Mother Teresa stood apart as an individual who had pure goodness and truth flowing out of her being, touching all she came in contact with.  One of the chief criticisms of her approach has been that she failed to comprehend or at least to address, the source of the problem rather than just concentrating on the immediate solution. In truth, Mother Teresa stands virtually alone in modern history (other than perhaps Albert Schweitzer) as understanding and practicing the true solution; i.e., if enough of us would individually help our neighbors with even a small fraction of the dedication that she daily (and nightly) displayed, there would be no need to discuss social theory or address the source of any problem, for there would be no political or social problem.
It is noteworthy to mention here that Mother Teresa ventured into the slums of India entirely on her own without any visible means of support and was at first ignored and some accounts say, actually opposed, by the Catholic church; she was later able to convince this rather contradictory organization, along with a great many governmental and other organizations, to contribute some of their largesse to her cause of helping the extreme sick and poor in a great many diverse areas around the globe (in addition to Calcutta, India). There are conflicting accounts of how much or how little the Catholic church was initially willing to help, but all agree that for at least two years, Mother Teresa was virtually entirely on her own and by her own admission, sometimes resorted to begging herself just to survive. Some of her critics accuse her of grandstanding to grab headlines, but those who knew better considered her to be perhaps the wisest 'milker' of media advantage in modern history; she was constantly attempting to persuade recalcitrant leaders of various nations to aid the sick and poor by forcing their hand in front of a rolling camera devoid of teleprompters and other props, where they were forced to either put up or else, shut up.
Typical of Mother Teresa is her reaction when the pope decided to reward her with his limousine as a gift; she immediately raffled it off to raise additional funds to help the sick and poor.  Many mistake her attire to be that of a nun's habit when in reality, she adopted the common dress of the poor people of India with whom she labored to help.  It is reported that she could usually be found at communal gatherings, if one searched diligently enough, huddled somewhere in the back among the poorest, unhealthiest and very least in status and that she deliberately sought to help the very sickest, those who had been rejected by other humanitarian efforts as being unsalvageable.  Some things impress even bikers and rock stars and no one can argue against the courage and commitment of Mother Teresa, though some complete idiots have actually tried.  Like Albert Schweitzer (who also endured unlearned and completely unwarranted criticism), she was a modern living example that the positive dedication of one can ultimately offset the greed and avarice of a great many.


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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