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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Mother Theresa - deeper than media's coverage

Princess Diana was no saint. But Mother Theresa was. Well, maybe not yet, but the small, humble nun from Calcutta is well on her way, and pictures of her beatification ceremony recently graced the front page of The New York Times. So why do I make a comparison between the two, what relationship do they have?

On Sept. 5, just five days after Princess Diana's speeding Mercedes slammed into a tunnel wall, Mother Theresa quietly passed in her convent in Calcutta. Remember? Probably not. But I'm sure you remember the endless tributes to Diana, the piles of flowers, the lampooning of the paparazzi, the grisly photographs of the crashed luxury car. All of the previous stories criticizing the Princess of Wales seemed to evaporate; all of the tabloids dropped stories of drugs and infidelity and hopped on the Diana-loving bandwagon.

Let me remind you that Diana was still married to Prince Charles, but was dating the multi-millionaire Dodi Fayed at the time of her death (he was in the car with her). I'm not saying that negates the great charity work she did in her lifetime, but it certainly should make the public and the media reconsider the pedestal they have placed her upon. I was only 13 at the time, but even then I was infuriated by the amount of media coverage given to Diana's car accident, especially when juxtaposed with the passing of one of the century's greatest humanitarians.

Mother Theresa founded The Mission of Charity, which helped orphans, the extremely poor and particularly the terminal ill - to whom she tried to convey some honor at the time of their death, no matter what kind of socioeconomic class they were from. In 1979 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the million dollars that accompany it. She could have ended her work then, taken her money and lived in comfort. Rather, she chose a life of poverty, giving everything she had to her cause and to her God. In her acceptance speech she stated, "I am grateful to receive [the Nobel] in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, of the crippled, of the blind, of the lepers, of all those people who feel unwanted, unloved, uncared-for throughout society, people that have become a burden to the society and are shunned by everyone."

Why can't society be obsessed with a woman like that, or a news story of her passing? Why must we be subjected to endless nonsense on O.J. Simpson, Jon Benet Ramsey and Laci Peterson? Today I went to the CNN website. One of the top stories was "Diana feared plot to tamper with her brakes." When is it going to end? Why do people care about this stuff? I realize it is a vicious cycle: the media reports, the public demands, the media reports some more. But someone, somewhere has to say "enough."

The 24 hour, seven-day coverage of the war in Iraq was great, but what else happened in that time? Did all the social problems in education, Medicare and Social Security just disappear? Did people all over the globe stop dying of AIDS at the rate of 10,000 per day? Of course not. Usually, the truly important matters are buried inside a The New York Times or covered in depth in programs like "60 Minutes." They're not in USA Today, or on talking-head programs on Fox News. In other words, they're usually not the top story (pictures of the ceremony were on the front page of the Times, not the story itself).

Now, to get back to my original subject, Mother Theresa was by no means perfect, for even saints have their flaws. She said some things about abortion that I do not agree with and controversy swirls around her possible canonization. Many people see her as "fast-tracked" to sainthood, a complaint compounded by the fact that the Pope has already canonized more candidates than any other in history. But I hope it happens. I hope she receives whatever small honor this world can bestow upon people of her kindness and temperance. And I hope the next time you see a story about Diana's dress going for $10 million on E-Bay, you'll think of Mother Theresa, and go find out why.

Section 202 host Gabrielle and friends go over some sports that aren’t in the sports media spotlight often, and review some sports based on their difficulty to play. 

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