Thursday, March 28, 2013

Can you make a tree smile?

Dr Abe V Rotor
Tagaytay, March 24 2013

Can you really make a tree smile?
Yes, you can, not only for a while,
even when the sky's dark and gray, 
it heralds rain is on the way.

When you know that trees catch the rain
and guide flood water down the drain,
or impound it for the garden and field,
and buffer the storm like a shield. 

When you know the great miracle: 
sunlight transformed to life of all,
and the air is cleaned and cooled
for the comfort of young and old. 
When not to cut for Christmas tree,
firewood, toys, for sale or free;
not for the most beautiful craft, 
for the tree is the finest art.    

When it's home and place to play, 
for transients and tenants to stay,
landmark of the march of seasons 
and the passing of generations. 
Yes, you can, and make the world
happy too, in deed and kind word,
as custodian of trees and others,
all living things are your brothers. ~

I am Nature Crucified – A Lenten Offering

Dr Abe V Rotor
                                                            Silhouette of a tree skeleton, Manila

I am Nature crucified, Paradise lost to my own guardian
whom my Creator assigned custodian of the living earth;

I am Nature crucified by loggers, my kin and neighbors 
annihilated, forever removed from their place of birth;

I am Nature crucified by slash-and-burn farming dreaded
- once lush forests now bare, desertification their fate;

I am Nature crucified, greedy men with giant machines
take hours to destroy what I built for thousands of years;

I am Nature crucified in the name of progress, countries 
vying for wealth and power, fighting among themselves; 

I am Nature crucified, rivers are dammed, lakes dried up,
swamps drained, estuaries blocked, waterways silted;

I am Nature crucified, the landscape littered with wastes,
gases into the air form acid rain, and thin the ozone layer;

I am Nature crucified, flora and fauna losing their natural
gene pools by selective breeding and genetic engineering;

I am Nature crucified, the earth is in fever steadily rising,
ice caps and glaciers melting, raising the level of the sea;  

I am Nature crucified, privacy and rest becoming a luxury
in a runaway population living on fast lanes, and rat race.  

I am Nature crucified, inequitable distribution of wealth
the source of conflict, greed and poverty, unhappiness;

I am Nature crucified by the promise of heaven in afterlife,
the faithful restrained to regain Paradise while on earth.

I am Nature crucified by scholars of never ending debates,
on the goodness of the human race in fraternal praises;

I am Nature crucified by the many denominations of faith,
pitting God against one another in endless proselytizing;

I am Nature crucified by licenses of freedom in extremism,
human rights and democracy - tools of inaction and abuse;   

I am Nature crucified by mad scientists splitting the atom,
building cities, tearing the earth, probing ocean and space;

I am Nature crucified by capitalism, consumerism its tool
to stir economy worldwide, wastefulness it consequence;

I am Nature crucified by the unending pursuit of progress,
the goal and measure of superiority, nation against nation;

I am Nature crucified by man’s folly to become immortal:
cryonics, cloning, robotics - triumvirates for singularity.

I am Nature crucified, hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, naked,
abandoned – wishing some souls to stop, look and listen. ~                                                       

The Last Sentinel

Dr Abe V Rotor

   Sentinel on Tagaytay Ridge - but for how long? March 24, 2013  

I braved the wind and storm, drought and rain,
     vandals and lovers carving their pledge, 
the beetle and caterpillar, all that has to gain
     from me standing on this ridge at its edge.

I was as proud as a king, tallest among my kin,
     home of countless tenants and refugees;
by height and place I was keen at touching the sky,
     though so little I felt on Babel's knees.

The view around was lush and green, verdant 
     in the sun as mist and fog would unfold;
a woodland was my world, I was once a part,
     until humans came to replace the old.

My neighbors are gone, I lost track of my lineage, 
     I've no one to talk to, though humans can 
in queer sound far from the gentleness of breeze
     all day long and after the sun is down. 

I lost sight overlooking the famed volcano, 
     its lake within a lake shining in the sun;
my vantage is blocked by roofs and walls and smog,
     an orphan I became by progress of man. 

I no longer hear plaintive and joyful songs,
     recitation of verses under my wing; 
weary travelers no longer stop to take a nap,
     nor birds nest in my branches and sing.

I live in fear for the woodsman, the engineer,
     but I've lived with fear enough to understand
the world of man: fear akin to his existence
     hidden in want - guideless, boundless in band. 

Man's era shall reign over nature, but for how long?
     I can only tell from my ancestors' story:
once upon a time there was a Paradise 
    abandoned by man in search for glory. ~

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gem Perched on a Tree

Brightest Gem Perched on a Tree
Dr Abe V Rotor
Atop Tagaytay Ridge, March 24 2013

A gem perched on a tree is looking through,
     to watch in its shadow a wholesome three;   
to whose care but the world and humanity, 
    the greatest gift to the loving and true.

Rare Beauty in the Plant World

Dr Abe V Rotor
Epiphytic liana on a tree trunk creates a fairy tale scene in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.  It offers a good subject for cartoons and abstract art. Crust of blue green is composed of lichen, an association of alga and fungus, a perfect example of survival through co-evolution.  Lichens are among the oldest living creatures on earth.
Buds emerge in summer on the highland, braving alternate heat and cold of day and night, which explains its rare color - red pigment dominating the normal green color of the plant, a biological phenomenon.   
Euphorbia displays extreme features: tender and colorful flowers in cluster perched on cruel and thorny stem - sharing somehow the romantic attribute of the rose, and the mythical imagery of "beauty and the beast."     

A pair of aster flowers emerges at the edge of a hedge, appearing "imprisoned" by striated ornamental grass. Such a scene is romantically associated with stories about "beauty behind bars."  
This leguminous shrub of the genus Cassia attracts attention by its unique pack of golden flowers and fine foliage even as other ornamental plants around have gone into aestivation in summer heat. A bumble bee settles down for nectar - a good subject of biology and photography.    
Bangbangsit, which means odorous, Lantana has lately invaded gardens, not because of its notorious nature as cosmopolitan weed, but gardeners have learned to like it for to reasons: its attractive multi-colored hybrid flowers, and its repellant property in protecting surrounding plants from pest. 
Angel's trumpets dangle in the morning sun on a Palm Sunday, as if muted by the observance of Christ passion.  They appear attractive and lovely nonetheless. The flowers are claimed to have marijuana-like properties so that the presence of this shrub in the garden creates suspicion in its purpose other than being an ornamental.~    
Inflorescence of Cyperus, a relative of the papyrus, adds unique ambiance in flower arrangement. Although devoid of fragrance and attractive color, its unique flower design and long vase life brought this common weed to the artist's eye and dining table. 

This sapling has two kinds of foliage, an example of dimorphism in biology - white to cream and tender when newly open to deep green and bold when mature. It grows up into a medium tree that has attractive orange inflorescence, which local folks fondly call the plant "queen of flowering plants." 

These specimens were photographed by the author in Tagaytay, March 24, 2013 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sister Macarius Lacuesta, SPC - religious, scholar and poetess.

Dr Abe V Rotor

If imagery is more vivid than vision, take it from Sr. Macarius – religious, scholar and poetess.

“Fly on my little kite
Ride on the wings of the wind…
Over plains and dales,
Reach on to the heights,
Hear the whispers of the treetops,
And the secrets of the clouds.”

- Fly on My Little Kite

She samples us with the timelessness, and the vastness of imagery that transcends to all ages – the young and the old, the past and present – and beyond. It unleashes the searching mind to freedom, liberating the soul with the confidence of a hand that holds the string of that kite.

For who would not like to fly on that kite in order to see the world, or at least to be taller from where he stands, or to turn the hands of time and be a child again even only for a while? That child in all of us, it must live forever. It lives in a dragonfly many years ago we captured for fun.

“Ah, you bring me back to my yesteryears
When I would run to catch you…
The sound your wings did make was music to me…
And then the childish whim satisfied, I set you free.”
- You Naughty Dragonfly

Adventure, simple as it may, carries us to the open field, and its pleasant memories make us feel reborn. Sister Macarius’ unique imagery comes at the heels of virtual reality as one reflects on her poems. Yet, on the other side of the poetess’ nature, she is real, she is here and now, “through open fields she walked… tired and weary, she slumped on the stump of an acacia tree.” From here she journeyed to the deep recesses of the roots of the sturdy tree. How forceful, how keen are her thoughts, true to being a devout religious.

“For their roots journey to the deep earth
Was a determined search for water,
Unmindful of the encounter with darkness,
Where cold and heat would not reach.”

- Journey to the Deep.

Faith is as deep as the roots of a sturdy tree. Such analogy refines the moral of the poem. It is a parable in itself. The poetess paused. In prayer she said in the last part of the poem, poignant yet firm and believing in the fullness of thrust and confidence of a Supreme Being.

“Lord, sink my roots into the depths of unwavering faith in You;
Help me believe that in my encounter
With darkness, hope may be borne
And my life will manifest all
The goodness, the beauty that is You.”

- Journey to the Deep

Dedicated to the memory of Sr Macarius Lacuesta, SPC

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Married Life is Bliss

Dr. Abe V. Rotor

Living with Nture School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday 

Truly it is difficult to know and say, “Yes, I have a successful married life.”

- On getting married and your friends are around, and you tell to the whole world, “Here is the person I will always love.”

- On having your first child and see the image of both of you and your spouse? (“Look he got my eyes, and chin of his dad.”)

- On having a third child and the economy has not recovered? (“I haven’t any increase in pay since last year.”)

- On driving the kids to school, then attend to chores you say, “It’s like a storm had left all the things out of their places.”

- On having your in-laws around and other relatives coming for weekends, then you realize you have an extended family.

- On having a home of your own, and say, “What I paid for rent, I now pay for amortization.” And it is investment.

- On having family disagreements now and then and you say, “Well, if everything is yes, you are sure only one is thinking.”

- On leaving your present job (or his) and start anew, even when you start again at square one, and say, “Tighten your belts.” Even so, you think you are happier now, so with my family.

- On winning an award, and say, “I owe this thing to all of you, especially to my family.”

- On going to other places and call up, “I’ll be home on Christmas.” It is only spring though.

- On experiencing a tragedy in the family, and find a strong shoulder to cry on, “He was meant to be with us only for sometime. He is our angel now.”

- On discovering a life threatening illness and you realize how each day passes with greater meaning and resolve. (“Each day is a bonus - my life is not mine anymore.”)

- On surviving and your hair is now gray, and the children have learned to adapt to life, the way you wish them to be.

- On receiving an award your children earned, and this time a sweet voice says, “This is you.” A drop of tear rolls on your wrinkled face. Words are not enough.

- On being alone; the children had left home and your spouse (bless his soul) had left something for you to live the rest of your life.

- On having grandchildren. “You naughty one you got my nose, and your chin is your grandfather’s.”

Success in married life - yes, it is the greatest success a man or woman can achieve. It is success that makes the world go round. It is the very foundation of a family and therefore of human society.

- It is a kind of success no one is denied to aspire for, irrespective of race, creed, education, or culture. Yet it is one many people failed to achieve in spite of their wealth and power.

- Success in family life is primordial. Between career and family, many people have chosen the latter, and say with a sigh, “Well, you cannot have the best of two worlds.” And they chose family.

- Success is not always equated with money or power. But it is always associated with happiness. A philosopher once said, “Happiness is the only commodity, which if you divide it, will multiply.” Try this formula, and it will tell us, “A happy family is successful.”

- Family life to be successful does not depend on one formula though. It thrives on new frontiers. There are always new things to discover. It is the discovery itself that is important, that makes it original and unique. And it must be always mutual. Joy to one is joy to the other.

- Success cannot be kept in a treasure box and locked. They say, “You cannot rest on your laurels.” Trophies are symbols; they are not an end. In Greek mythology Jason, after his adventure with Hercules in search of the Golden Fleece, spent the rest of his life beside his ship, the Argon, which fell into pieces with age killing the great warrior.

- Success in married life is neither abstract, nor merely spiritual. It is real. It is to be shared. It must be contagious. Let it be expressed with the children. It must be felt and celebrated in one way or the other minus the pomposity of the Romans. It must be exemplified. It must strive to be a model.  It should be able to pass as a paradigm of not only what life really is – but what it should be. “Life,” according to Reader’s Digest, “is the most difficult art, yet it is the finest.”

- Asked what the great British Prime Minister and hero, Winston Churchill wanted if he were born again. He said with twinkle in his eyes looking at Mrs. Churchill. “I’d like to be Mrs. Churchill’s next husband.” Success in married life has an imprimatur. It leaves a mark. That mark even glows on the dead man’s face, and on the shine of his epitaph, and flowers that grace it.

- Trials are not enough to weather success. Yes, to a courageous person, who when asked, “Were you not afraid?” He simply said, “I was afraid, but I did the brave thing.” He picked up the pieces together and his family is once more solid and whole.

Family picnic on a beach

When I was invited to talk on this topic before faculty members and students, I said to myself. “Gush, I should know I am successful in my married life.” For whatever I have done so far – through thick and thin - I know my family has always been with me – on the stage, on camping trips, painting exhibits, on visitation of the tombs of our departed, in the church, on my sickbed, lectures, at the mall, workshop, at the farm, on rosary hour. Seldom do I encounter the four “Ws” and one “H” – the very things that make our life complex and uncertain – without my family helping me answer these questions. Life is truly worth living for.

As we switch on the vigil light and retire in the night, we are one happy family looking forward for the next day. For indeed, success must be lived with day after day, season after season, year after year.
At the end, we come to submit our credentials to the One who made us all, who gave us that star that guides our life, who welcomes us at His throne when we shall then have reached it. ~

How firm and stable is your marriage? Here is a test.

How firm and stable is your marriage?  Here is a test.
Dr Abe V Rotor 

Living with Nature School on Blog 
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday                                                

Bouquet, acrylic

This is a test for married people. Check the items that apply to you, or you agree with. You can take the test as a couple.

1. A natural clock governs every person in his system. This is often referred to as biological rhythm. Although there is a general plan on how this internal clocks works, no two persons are tuned in to the same pattern - not even husband and wife. Try to live by your own biorhythms and learn to adjust with those of our partner.

2. Recognize your moods and energies that change with the time of the day and night, with months and seasons.

3. Lovemaking is mutually fulfilling when both partners have synchronized biorhythms. Generally human body is dynamic that it can reset itself daily and adapt to the changes in the environment.

4. Sex can become monotonous especially with modern life. Many people find little time to express tender love with sex. They employ a number of ways to vary their sexual expression as not merely satisfying a desire, feeling relieved and exhausted afterward - or just for the sake of giving in to their partner. Many more miss the spiritual element of lovemaking, whereby the act is a means to sustain a passionate emotion from which follow exhilaration, and a great feeling of satisfaction.

5. Food, Rest, Exercise and Sunlight = Health (FRESH). This formula is easy to remember. Watch out for the food that you take. Eat health foods, and avoid those in the list of Don’t Eat which your family doctor gave you.

6. There is no substitute to adequate sleep. Maintain a healthy sleeping habit. Take a rest between heavy schedules, and avoid buildup of tension. Relax. Exercise regularly within your natural capacity. Do not over exercise. .

7. Sunlight perks you up, breaks monotony, and takes out the blues in your life. It makes us closer to nature, and takes us to outdoor adventure. All these make a happy love life with your partner.

8. Sexual expression is not restricted to estrus periods or seasons of the year. Humans have the ability to match their sexual desires with their moods and feelings. Hormones influence, but not dictate, sex life.

9. Meaningful spiritual love and emotional feelings multiply the ecstasy of physical pleasure.

10. A woman’s menstrual cycle dictates her sexual moods. They feel sexiest at the midpoint of their menstrual cycle.

11. There are people who are sexier in the morning than at night. There are also those who feel sexier in summer than during cool months, or vice versa.

12. There are times when men become sexier and this is indicated by rapid growth of their mustache and beard.

13. Studies show that the most active time for sexual activity is in the evening, but lovemaking at this time is poor since the androgens (love hormones) are low. (They are highest between 8 to 12 a.m., and lowest at 6p.m.) Evening is convenient to most working people. If this is not enough, make up for it during weekends.

14. Reduce meal size as the day progresses and avoid high calorie snacks in the evening. But do not skip breakfast or lunch. Carbohydrates help calm and focus the mind. Protein food boosts mental energy, but avoid fatty foods when you want to be mentally alert.

15. When planning out an active evening, like going to a concert, holding a party, or having a date, reduce your dinner, with protein food preferred over fatty and carbohydrates food. Coffee makes you awake, and drinking may delay your regular bedtime or makes you fall asleep. If you want to wake up refreshed and alert do not take alcohol in the evening before.

16. An enduring and fulfilling love life is one that shared together by husband and wife. Here are the basic elements essential to a lifelong relationship: trust and confidence, empathy (feeling with the other person), and marriage. (Sex outside marriage cannot remain meaningful and does not usually last.)

17. Stay in touch with your creative side. Use your right brain – the seat of creativity – more often. Let your left brain – the seat of reason – rest for a while. Paint, draw, write verses, sing.

18. Share your jokes with loved ones and friends. Laughing together is a great bonding experience. Start your lecture or talk with a joke. Diffuse the electric atmosphere. Break the ice, so to speak with humor.

19. Laugh together. Light up the years. Reinvigorate. You can be young again. It is in the heart. Make up for the lost time you should have been together as a couple. Have a date, perhaps a second honeymoon, now that the children are on their own.

20. Love grows with time, with every child born, in celebrating memorable occasions, through kindness on relatives and friends on both sides, in job promotion, building a home, traveling together, graduation of the children, having grandchildren – plus 1001 little goodness that brings in sunshine every day in your relationship.

NOTE: These are guidelines to a happy and enduring married life. They serve as checklist, too. Any negative answer or doubtful response needs analysis. Talk it out with your partner. Find out what is bothering you. You may need advice. Maybe you need to research and know more about love and marriage.

Reference: Philippine Herbs to Increase Sexual Vitality, Ontengco D, Del Rosario R and A Rotor

Humor and wit brighten your life in gloomy weather

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog

"Jump high and fly, like the hopper, from ground to sky."  

On waking up and find yourself a millionaire
Five Filipinos were discussing what they would do if they awoke one morning to discover that they were millionaires 
  • The Cebuano said he would build a big cockpit arena.
  • The Manileño said he would go to Las Vegas and have a good time.
  • The Palaweño said he would build an island resort. 
  • The Ilocano said he would deposit the money in the bank and live on its interest.  
  • The Boholano said he would go to sleep again to see if he could make another million.
Why does a captain go down with his ship?
A soldier who lost his rifle was lectured by his captain and told he would have to pay for it. 
"Sir," gulped the soldier, "Suppose I lose a tank, will I have to pay it, too." 
" Yes, you will, even if it takes your whole life in the army." 
"Now I know why a captain goes down with his ship." 

Honesty really pays
Two friends were riding a bus and had just reached their destination.  At the station one of them realized she hadn't paid her fare. Confessing to her friend she asked, "Did you pay for me?"  To which her friend wryly answered, "No."
"Well, I'll go right up and pay."
"Why bother? That's just a small matter, and you were able to get away with it."  
"I believe that honesty always pays." And virtuously she went to see and pay the conductor. 
She returned holding a fifty-peso bill.  "See, I told you honesty always pays!"  "I handed a twenty-peso bill and he gave me this change." ~ 

Time and space 
"The distance between Manila and New York is the same as from New York to Manila." Explained one of three friends.  
"Well, not when you come back on the other side of the globe." 
"What do you think, Jon-Jon?"
 "I dunno; its just a week from Christmas to New Year, but is it a week from New Year to Christmas?" 

Just the same
"If you have your life to live over," the prominent octogenarian was asked, "do you think you'd make the same mistakes again?"
"Certainly," said the old man, "But I'd start sooner." 

Memory lapse 
"Have you forgotten that 500 pesos I lent you a month ago?"
"Not yet, give me time." ~ 

In his Sunday mass homily, the priest told the faithful, "As I look around, I ask myself, 'Where are the poor?' "
"But when I look at the collection, I say to myself, 'Where are the rich?' " 

A five-letter word is the real problem
A five-letter word,
not enemy, not study,
not bored, not birth,
neither dying nor death;
wanting around the world 
in springtime or autumn,
in dark days or sunny -
this five-letter word;
craved by everybody 
none other but money. 

All about Money
  • A well-known comedian was being seen frequently with a certain beautiful blonde.  Finally someone asked where they had met. "I dunno," said the comic.  "I just opened my wallet and there she was." 
  • When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion. (Voltaire)
  • I don't like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves. (Joe Louis)
  • Money talks as much as ever, but what it says nowadays makes less cents. 
  • Everything is subject to gravity except tax rate, salary, inflation, tuition, cost of living...
 Acknowledgment: Braude JM, Speaker's Encyclopedia of Humor; Procknow H & H Jr Procknow (Jokes, Quotes and One-Liners)

Odd-man-out test

Abe V Rotor

1. Which of these is not a make of car?

2. Which of these is a Filipino poet/poetess?

3. Which of these cities/towns is not in Europe?

4. Which of these is not an island?

5. Which of these singers is an Italian?

Pilita Corrales is a famous singer, actress
and a songwriter. She is half Spanish and
half Cebuana and widely known as 
Asia's Queen of Songs.

1. Ford Fiat Volvo Boeing Altis Porsche
2. Dimalanta Keats Byron Chaucer Wordsworth Blake
3. Athens Moscow Milan Sydney Lisbon Paris
4. Palawan Tahiti Guam Cuba Disney Coron
5. Salonga Bautista Pilita Caruso Sharon Aunor

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Reference - How clever are you? A Reader's guide to Intelligence Tests

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mother Teresa Nobel Peace Prize Lecture on LOVE

Selected parts of Mother Teresa's lecture on peace

Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School on Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, Evening Class, Monday to Friday

Nobel Lecture by Mother Teresa
Oslo, Norway - December 11th 1979

xxx "We have been created in his (Christ) image. We have been created to love and be loved, and then he has become man to make it possible for us to love as he loved us. He makes himself the hungry one- the naked one - the homeless one- the sick one- the one in prison- the lonely one - the unwanted one- and he says: You did it to me. Hungry for our love, and this is the hunger of our poor people. This is the hunger that you and I must find, it may be in our own home.

I never forget an opportunity I had in visiting a home where they had all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them in an institution and forgotten maybe. And I went there, and I saw in that home they had everything, beautiful things, but everybody was looking towards the door. And I did not see a single one with their smile on their face. And I turned to the Sister and I asked: How is that? How is it that the people they have everything here, why are they all looking towards the door, why are they not smiling? I am so used to see the smile on our people, even the dying one smile, and she said: This is nearly every day, they are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten, and see- this is where love comes. That poverty comes right there in our own home, even neglect of love. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried, and these are difficult days for everybody. Are we there, are we there to receive them, is the mother there to receive the child?

I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given into drugs, and I tried to find out why- why it is like that, and the answer was: Because there is no one in the family to receive them. Father and mother are so busy they have no time. Young parents are in some institution and the child takes back to the street and gets involved in something. We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing- direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child- I will not forget you - I have carved you in the palm of my hand. We are carved in the palm of His hand, so close to Him that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God. And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible - but even if she could forget - I will not forget you. 

And today the greatest means - the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here - our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us. Our children, we want them, we love them, but what of the millions. Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child- what is left for me to kill you and you kill me- there is nothing between. 

And this I appeal in India, I appeal everywhere: Let us bring the child back, and this year being the child's year: What have we done for the child? At the beginning of the year I told, I spoke everywhere and I said: Let us make this year that we make every single child born, and unborn, wanted. And today is the end of the year, have we really made the children wanted? I will give you something terrifying. We are fighting abortion by adoption, we have saved thousands of lives, we have sent words to all the clinics, to the hospitals, police stations - please don't destroy the child, we will take the child. So every hour of the day and night it is always somebody, we have quite a number of unwedded mothers- tell them come, we will take care of you, we will take the child from you, and we will get a home for the child. And we have a tremendous demand from families who have no children, that is the blessing of God for us. And also, we are doing another thing which is very beautiful- we are teaching our beggars, our leprosy patients, our slum dwellers, our people of the street, natural family planning.

And in Calcutta alone in six years- it is all in Calcutta- we have had 61,273 babies less from the families who would have had, but because they practise this natural way of abstaining, of self-control, out of love for each other. We teach them the temperature meter which is very beautiful, very simple, and our poor people understand. And you know what they have told me? Our family is healthy, our family is united, and we can have a baby whenever we want. So clear- those people in the street, those beggars- and I think that if our people can do like that how much more you and all the others who can know the ways and means without destroying the life that God has created in us.

The poor people are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. The other day one of them came to thank and said: You people who have vowed chastity you are the best people to teach us family planning. Because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other. And I think they said a beautiful sentence. And these are people who maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home where to live, but they are great people. The poor are very wonderful people. One evening we went out and we picked up four people from the street. And one of them was in a most terrible condition- and I told the Sisters: You take care of the other three, I take of this one that looked worse. So I did for her all that my love can do. I put her in bed, and there was such a beautiful smile on her face. She took hold of my hand, as she said one word only: Thank you - and she died.

I could not help but examine my conscience before her, and I asked what would I say if I was in her place. And my answer was very simple. I would have tried to draw a little attention to myself, I would have said I am hungry, that I am dying, I am cold, I am in pain, or something, but she gave me much more - she gave me her grateful love. And she died with a smile on her face. As that man whom we picked up from the drain, half eaten with worms, and we brought him to the home. I have lived like an animal in the street, but I am going to die like an angel, loved and cared for. And it was so wonderful to see the greatness of that man who could speak like that, who could die like that without blaming anybody, without cursing anybody, without comparing anything. Like an angel- this is the greatness of our people. And that is why we believe what Jesus had said: I was hungry- I was naked - I was homeless - I was unwanted, unloved, uncared for - and you did it to me.

I believe that we are not real social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of the people, but we are really contemplatives in the heart of the world. For we are touching the Body Of Christ 24 hours. We have 24 hours in this presence, and so you and I. You too try to bring that presence of God in your family, for the family that prays together stays together. And I think that we in our family don't need bombs and guns, to destroy to bring peace - just get together, love one another, bring that peace, that joy, that strength of presence of each other in the home. And we will be able to overcome all the evil that is in the world.

There is so much suffering, so much hatred, so much misery, and we with our prayer, with our sacrifice are beginning at home. Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the action that we do. It is to God Almighty- how much we do it does not matter, because He is infinite, but how much love we put in that action. How much we do to Him in the person that we are serving.

Some time ago in Calcutta we had great difficulty in getting sugar, and I don't know how the word got around to the children, and a little boy of four years old, Hindu boy, went home and told his parents: I will not eat sugar for three days, I will give my sugar to Mother Teresa for her children. After three days his father and mother brought him to our home. I had never met them before, and this little one could scarcely pronounce my name, but he knew exactly what he had come to do. He knew that he wanted to share his love. xxx

And so here I am talking with you- I want you to find the poor here, right in your own home first. And begin love there. Be that good news to your own people. And find out about your next-door-neighbor - do you know who they are? I had the most extraordinary experience with a Hindu family who had eight children. A gentleman came to our house and said: Mother Teresa, there is a family with eight children, they had not eaten for so long - do something. So I took some rice and I went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger - I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And she took the rice, she divided the rice, and she went out. When she came back I asked her - where did you go, what did you do? And she gave me a very simple answer: They are hungry also. What struck me most was that she knew - and who are they, a Muslim family - and she knew. I didn't bring more rice that evening because I wanted them to enjoy the joy of sharing. But there were those children, radiating joy, sharing the joy with their mother because she had the love to give. And you see this is where love begins - at home. And I want you- and I am very grateful for what I have received. It has been a tremendous experience and I go back to India- I will be back by next week, the 15th I hope - and I will be able to bring your love.

And I know well that you have not given from your abundance, but you have given until it has hurt you. Today the little children they have- I was so surprised - there is so much joy for the children that are hungry. That the children like themselves will need love and care and tenderness, like they get so much from their parents. So let us thank God that we have had this opportunity to come to know each other, and this knowledge of each other has brought us very close. And we will be able to help not only the children of India and Africa, but will be able to help the children of the whole world, because as you know our Sisters are all over the world. And with this prize that I have received as a prize of peace, I am going to try to make the home for many people that have no home. Because I believe that love begins at home, and if we can create a home for the poor- I think that more and more love will spread. And we will be able through this understanding love to bring peace, be good news to the poor. The poor in our own family first, in our country and in the world. 

xxx Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society - that poverty is so hurtable and so much, and I find that very difficult. Our Sisters are working amongst that kind of people in the West. So you must pray for us that we may be able to be that good news, but we cannot do that without you, you have to do that here in your country. You must come to know the poor, maybe our people here have material things, everything, but I think that if we all look into our own homes, how difficult we find it sometimes to smile at each other, and that the smile is the beginning of love.

And so let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love, and once we begin to love each other naturally we want to do something. So you pray for our Sisters and for me and for our Brothers, and for our Co-Workers that are around the world. That we may remain faithful to the gift of God, to love Him and serve Him in the poor together with you. What we have done we should not have been able to do if you did not share with your prayers, with your gifts, this continual giving. But I don't want you to give me from your abundance, I want that you give me until it hurts.

The other day I received 15 dollars from a man who has been on his back for twenty years, and the only part that he can move is his right hand. And the only companion that he enjoys is smoking. And he said to me: I do not smoke for one week, and I send you this money. It must have been a terrible sacrifice for him, but see how beautiful, how he shared, and with that money I bought bread and I gave to those who are hungry with a joy on both sides, he was giving and the poor were receiving. This is something that you and I - it is a gift of God to us to be able to share our love with others.

 And let it be as it was for Jesus. Let us love one another as he loved us. Let us love Him with undivided love. And the joy of loving Him and each other- let us give now - that Christmas is coming so close. Let us keep that joy of loving Jesus in our hearts. And share that joy with all that we come in touch with. And that radiating joy is real, for we have no reason not to be happy because we have no Christ with us. Christ in our hearts, Christ in the poor that we meet, Christ in the smile that we give and the smile that we receive. Let us make that one point: That no child will be unwanted, and also that we meet each other always with a smile, especially when it is difficult to smile.

I never forget some time ago about fourteen professors came from the United States from different universities. And they came to Calcutta to our house. Then we were talking about that they had been to the home for the dying. We have a home for the dying in Calcutta, where we have picked up more than 36,000 people only from the streets of Calcutta, and out of that big number more than 18,000 have died a beautiful death. They have just gone home to God; and they came to our house and we talked of love, of compassion, and then one of them asked me: Say, Mother, please tell us something that we will remember, and I said to them: Smile at each other, make time for each other in your family. Smile at each other. 

And then another one asked me: Are you married, and I said: Yes, and I find it sometimes very difficult to smile at Jesus because he can be very demanding sometimes. This is really something true, and there is where love comes - when it is demanding, and yet we can give it to Him with joy. Just as I have said today, I have said that if I don't go to Heaven for anything else I will be going to Heaven for all the publicity because it has purified me and sacrificed me and made me really ready to go to Heaven. I think that this is something, that we must live life beautifully, we have Jesus with us and He loves us. If we could only remember that God loves me, and I have an opportunity to love others as he loves me, not in big things, but in small things with great love, then Norway becomes a nest of love. xxx

Mother Teresa Speech (Nobel Lecture Speech, Internet)