I used to just call it “The Mother Teresa Lesson.”
For years, to prove a point – that no matter who we are, that no matter what we do, we’re all going to have haters – I’d tell my students the tale of Mother Teresa and how even she had people who didn’t like her.
Near the end of her life, a couple of crazy documentary filmmakers portrayed her as “Hell’s Angel” and called her a publicity hound. I’ve never stopped using that preposterous story to lift me up when the haters are bringing me down.
“If there are people who disapprove of Mother Teresa,” I remind myself, “who are you to think you’re going to be loved by all?”
Originally, it was just a theory, but now there are numbers to prove it. In a 2011 Public Policy Polling poll, Mother Teresa had an astonishingly low 83% approval rating.
No one got above an A-. The highest rating of all was Abraham Lincoln at 91% followed by Jesus Christ at 90. Coming in third was Aaron Rogers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback, who had an 89% approval rating – but only in Wisconsin and right after the Packers won the Super Bowl. Today, after a seven-year Super Bowl drought, his Wisconsin approval rating is down ten points. Tough crowd, those Wisconsinites.
Still, Rogers’ rating is way higher than Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., who were tied with a 64% approval rating. Apparently, being iconic doesn’t make you universally revered. Yet, even though Lincoln, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Gandhi and MLK, Jr. aren’t approved by all, the most shocking name on the list has to be Santa Claus
Who could hate THIS guy?
who could only manage a 67% approval rating, cementing the truth that, unless you’re a do-nothing, always neutral hermit, expect Internet trolls.
The comforting fact is, having haters may be a badge of honor – a solid indicator that you’re living right.