Pinky Pie

Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa & Me

Posted on: January 6, 2010

Jen Towner Photograph

Now I’m putting on airs. I’m in the company of Gandhi and Mother Teresa? I think not.

But my daughter Maggie suggested them among others for the Great Susan T. Hessel Breast Cancer Challenge. The challenge, which I created, sees if I can find a way to write about cultural icons recommended by readers. If you look back on the blog, you’ll see many folks and images that became part of my blog about breast cancer. They allow me to wax poetic (so I think) about my experiences.

Considering I managed to write a couple days ago on this blog about Ed Gein, the notorious Wisconsin murderer and grave robber, Mother Teresa and Gandhi have to be child’s play.

Gandhi, the great political and spiritual leader of India during its independence movement, was the first to advocate for non-violent resistance. Several of his quotes listed in resonate with me:

  • “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

[This has meaning for me because all the way through my cancer treatment, I’ve felt surprisingly happy. That does not mean I didn’t have bad days, but I do feel good about myself and yes, happy. I don’t wake up worried about cancer or anything, feelings that were common before this. Go figure.]

  • “I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.”

[I do have a personality, that’s for sure. And I pride myself for being on the quirky side of life; able to make jokes about just about anything, especially when I’m uncomfortable. I’m not sure if my family and friends would be as dedicated to my expressing that personality so fully. :-)]

  • “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

[There’s no question that I err. And I’m not the brightest bulb in the fridge  – wait there’s only one. I am the brightest bulb in the fridge.]

  • “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

[Gandhi was undoubtedly “kidding on the square,” as my father would say. This expression meant you were kidding, but still believed in what you were saying. I, however, am a former reporter, am married to a reporter and have a daughter who used to be a reporter. Gandhi should have said, “I believe in equality for everyone except Fox News reporters and photographers.” :-)]

Now some quotes from Mother Teresa, who was known internationally as an humanitarian and advocate for the poor and helpless, She had inspiring words:


  • “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

[Remember junior high or middle school when giving and receiving smiles and/or saying “Hi,” was based on your status? Or was that just my school? Still today, there are times when people avoid eye contact rather than just smiling and acknowledging others. I know my wearing a hat over what is obviously a bald chemotherapy head is a little uncomfortable for some people so I try to always smile and say hi to folks to make them more comfortable.]

  • “Good works are links that form a chain of love.”

[Mitzvahs, baby, are good deeds large and small that help repair the world. And, this world needs repairing.]

  • “It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy.”

[That’s what I’ve been trying to do by continuing to walk during all this. While I missed more walks than I’d like to say during chemo, I’m back and feel so good and happy about it.]

  • “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish that He didn’t trust me so much.”

[No kidding.]

Have icons you want to challenge me to write about? This is a good time to send them. I will figure out how they apply to be breast cancer dragging. (It’s a dragging and not a journey that I chose.) 🙂


1 Response to "Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa & Me"

Nice! I like it!

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