Today I came across this quote from Rumi: “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” It immediately struck a sympathetic chord in my heart. Deep inside everyone of us beats the same goodness that binds us together in our humanity. In the face of all our differences, divisions and conflicts we are one in the humanity we share. Listening to the Dalai Lama, I am reminded of Christ delivering his Sermon on the Mount. Christ figures prominently in the Quran. Pope Francis reaches out to Muslims in the simple and humble gesture of washing the feet of a Muslim woman. People of different colors and many tongues are in fact brothers and sisters for we have but one Father and one Source.
Some great men and women have worked to change the world. And many aspire to do great things. Yet, history is replete with simple people who attained greatness by doing simple things. St. Therese of Lisieux comes to mind. She is a Patroness of the Missions although she never went out on one. She is one of the Doctors of the Church, those august theologians of the Catholic Faith, and yet she wrote just one book which is actually her autobiographical journal. She spent her days in prayer and conversations with God.
In praying to our one common Father and our one common Source, I come in intimate contact with all my brothers and sisters. And when I change myself according to the will of Our Father, then I can change the world. Some people do this by achieving the heroic. Many do it by accomplishing simple and ordinary acts. Thus, a cup of cold water to a little one in need has a much significance as a grand irrigation project that would bring water to thousands.
‘And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’