Mother Teresa of Calcutta made this observation: “In developed countries there is a poverty of intimacy of spirit, of loneliness, of lack of love. There is no greater sickness today than that one. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the worst, the most terrible poverty of all. One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.”
It is hard to argue with this recently canonized saint. It is also hard to align her observations with the values of our culture. What is a person to do? She has an answer. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person.”
This is medicine that would benefit all of us.