Volume 91, Issue 10

Friday, September 12, 1997

frosh pit


Silent hero

Tomorrow is Mother Teresa's funeral and how many North Americans tune it in? Oh sure, we all care – she was Mother Teresa. She was a saint. But based on public appeal and media attention, the blessed woman is being treated as a back page story.

Tomorrow she has been granted a state funeral in India, an honour usually reserved for heads of state and government.

Big news, huh? No? Not enough car-wreckin', paparazzi-chasin', prince-bashin', drunk-drivin', song-writin' goodness for us? Well, with Mother Teresa what you see is what you get – a sweet, innocent and selfless woman who gave up worldly goods to give to her planet and those on it.

Mother Teresa never received the tabloid attention, she barely made the newspapers and her looks haven't merited the attention of trashy television shows. You know, maybe that's not so bad.

But how do we measure our care for icons who play on the global stage? Is it by the number of flowers the deceased receives or by the crowds she attracted? No, because only so many people can fit inside a stadium for the service and not everybody can afford to ship flowers across the world to pay their respects.

The best way to look at the loss of Mother Teresa is by examining the direct impact on the people. Diana, as charitable and strong as she was, was still a Princess – which can cut down on charity-work time tremendously. It was amazing she could work as much as she did. Mother Teresa, however, spent her entire life trying to make the world a better place for orphans, the hungry and the sick. Mathematically, socially, morally – no matter how you look at it, Mother Teresa's impact on the needy population is unbeatable.

So why the lack of media attention? If that other woman had not died, Mother Teresa would have received much more coverage. Her death would have been shown as something tragic with far-reaching impact and not some footnote on page A10 in the front section of the paper.

The salvation for readers whohave wanted to see more coverage of Mother Teresa, one of the greatest religious figures who ever lived, comes the knowledge that millions and millions of people around the world were spiritually and emotionally touched by this great woman. And despite the recent mass media frenzy that unfortunately eclipsed a celebration of her life and the mourning of her death, the feelings within the hearts of those touched by Mother Teresa will shine brighter than the limelight.

To Contact The Editorial Department: gazed@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997