When troubles arise, heroes emerge.
It's really easy to be generous when you have extra money. Or to be patient when you've got plenty of time. Sure, it's really easy to be powerful when you're the strongest around. And, indeed, it's easy to be courageous when there's no real danger.

What's not easy is being generous when your wallet is nearly empty, being patient when you're in a rush, being powerful when you're surrounded by giants, and being courageous when troubles arise.

It's at times like those when heroes emerge. Look for them. Be one of them. Let your light shine.
     -The Godmother
Cambodia's heroes: When I ask my students to reflect on their heroes they write about one of two things: famous leaders from the ancient Angkor Kingdom or else their parents. Students don't dare write about people who they believe to be heroic political dissidents, most of whom have been silenced or killed. But there are indeed modern heroes here, "safe" ones: Bun Saluth, a Cambodian monk in Oddar Meanchey who works to protect the forest and animals; Sam Tharoth, a female champion of Bokator, an ancient Khmer martial art; people who train rats to sniff out land mines; Cambodia’s famous musicians from “The Golden Era” (1950s-1960s) including the "Queen of Cambodian rock", Ros SereysotheaRithy Panh, filmmaker of award-winning The Missing Picture; and others. Heroes are often humble; villains are seldom so. But even light from the smallest candle cuts through the darkness.
Did you miss a previous Godmother's Advice email? 
  • #001: Khmer boxing & solving problems
  • #002: Workers' commute & "making room"
  • #003: Bright balloons & dangerous attractions
  • #004: Bats and others' ways
  • #005: Playing in the mud
  • #006: Tattoos and bad habits
  • #007: Make-believe
  • #008: Dental and other care
  • #009: Boat races and collaboration
  • #010: Loads carried
  • #011: Nothing beyond repair
  • #012: Solid bricks
  • #013: Toilet left standing
  • #014: Flying a kite
  • #015: Everyone is held
  • #016: Dry fish in the sun
  • #017: Little children
  • #018: Worth looking for
  • #019: Two-way windows
Background about this email: Several years ago, I was feeling like an inadequate Godmother due to my absence in the US and, consequently, my absence in my Godsons' lives. I decided to send what little advice I have as someone who has been in the world for 30 years longer than they. Thus was born my Godmother's emails--a tidbit of advice each week. I decided to share these emails with friends and others because I feel that  folks need some good, helpful or happy things in their Inbox these days. This particular one is new; I never sent it to my Godsons. However, I figured that, given the times, it was appropriate. I hope these Godmother's advice emails are good, helpful or happy for you; otherwise, unsubscribe below.
This email and my work in Cambodia is made possible by the Maryknoll Lay Missioners program through which I work. To support me, use this secure online form. If you are outside the US, you can donate through PayPal.com (specify "maria_montello@yahoo.com" as the recipient).
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