–Gandhi (Harijan, March 31, 1946)
Very often, when people associate others with Gandhi, they think of Mother Teresa. But what is it that they have in common? While she was not leading a political or even economic movement, we might say this about her: she was leading a movement for dignity, offering dignity to those forgotten by society; and as we know, another way of saying nonviolence is just that– to offer someone dignity.
One time a journalist, trying to get an interview with Mother Teresa, followed her as she went about her work. He did his best to be comfortable when she was cleaning out the wounds of a person with leprosy; but it was a shocking sight, and worse: the smell from the wounds started to get to him. He looked at her and said, “I wouldn’t do that for all of the money in the world.” An honest confession, is it not? Mother Teresa looked up at him and replied gently, “Neither would I.”
Maybe her vision of “charity” was more of a transformative, economic revolution than we realize!
Do you think that it was a coincidence that Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity was finally approved as its own religious order, with its humble beginnings in the slums of Calcutta, in the same year that Gandhiji shed his body? I don’t.
Experiment in Nonviolence:
When does serving others freely become revolutionary? Experiment with this idea today and let us know your hypotheses and findings!