Letter: Jan. 13, 1853
In case you haven’t caught on yet, Mother Theodore was very wise and enjoyed pitching advice to those around her. It seems that Sister Maria had done something that might have been frowned upon at the time. The short letter consists of mostly advice and metaphors. Some metaphors might even make you laugh out loud, such as “The more we stir up a dung-hill the more it exhales bad odors.”
Mother Theodore never names the thing that Sister Maria might be at fault for, but doesn’t spend much time scolding her for it. Instead, she encourages her with rewarding advice, such as “Be careful not to give way to your temper, which makes you unsupportable. You would be a thousand times happier in resisting it.”
This is probably one of my (many) favorite quotes from Mother Theodore for several reasons, but I will name two. The first reason is because I respect Mother Theodore for not ridiculing others for their mistakes. Instead, she uses a positive reinforcement method, which I am a huge fan of. She simply acknowledges faults (including her own), and then encourages others to move on with life. The second reason is because this is a piece of advice that can be used for all of eternity! If you’re anything like me, when you get into a heated conflict you might say some things that you will deeply regret later. If you’ve ever tried the “keep calm” method, you might have noticed that your blood pressure stayed at a healthy level, you were happier, people didn’t think you were crazy, etc.
Moral to this blog? Keep calm! It’s good for you. Mother Theodore even said so.