On this beautiful Saturday morning, the last weekend in the merry month of May I was quickly looking at the on-line papers. You really can look at them quickly and get a news round up of what they consider to be the main events of the past week. There is even a quiz on the Guardian on line to see if you have been paying attention. One event was the passing on of a renowned Afro American writer. One of her favourite quotes was listed as Never give priority to people for whom you are only an option. Well at first glance I didn't like it at all. It reminded me of when I had a helper when my children were very small and every time I thanked her profusely she said in her local dialect "We are all useful but none of us is necessary". That really depressed me. How could you think of people like that? the same with the priority quote. How could you ever consciously think of others in that way? I asked a friend what she thought. She agreed with the quote. She said that only your parents, partner and children should be your priority. This depressed me further. Of course they should be, that is obvious, but the human heart is much broader and bigger and healthier than that. There is room for people who take you for granted, who fall by the wayside as life goes by, who use you and discard you. So what? There is a place in our hearts for people who consider us an option. Maybe I have misunderstood it. maybe you shouldn't make other people a priority and neglect who really needs you.
At the same time I saw a quote by Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I told my husband that we don't hear about her much. He said that might be because.. she's dead ? So I said well so is Shakespeare, Dante, my dad and a whole lot of other people who are frequently quoted.
This is what she said
Smile at each other: smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other - it doesn't matter who it is - and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other.
Just be careful not to smile at strangers on trains.