“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa
Who is one person that has made the world a better place? If many of us paused to ponder this question, it would be no surprise that “Mother Teresa” would be a common answer. A woman who dedicated her life to helping the poor is certainly someone who has left a resounding impact for generations to come. In fact, she is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest humanitarians, winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her everyday philanthropy. Mother Teresa was a Changer.
Known in the Catholic church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, she was a nun and missionary who devoted her life to caring for the sick and poor. By the age of 18, Mother Teresa became a nun, and only a year later, she journeyed to India where she taught at a school for girls. After years of devoting her life to teaching, she experienced her “call within a call” that took her to the slums of Calcutta to serve the city’s poorest and sickest people.
The selfless works of Mother Teresa are well known and revered across the globe, but her life should also serve as an inspiration for us to take however small of a step toward impacting our communities for the better. Perhaps we’re not all called to sell our belongings and move to an unfamiliar place to help the needy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from Mother Teresa’s small acts of kindness and implement those in our everyday lives.
Sharing was a concept that was deeply instilled in Mother Teresa at a young age. This simple practice is something we can all adopt. “My child, never eat a single mouthful unless you are sharing it with others,” her mother once said. Her mother invited the city’s poorest people to dine with them on a regular basis, which taught Mother Teresa, then called Agnes, to see everyone as “her people.” What if we served a meal to someone in need or shared a dinner with those less fortunate?
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless,” Mother Teresa famously said. Being kind doesn’t take a major life change, new purpose or different career path. We can all show kindness everyday regardless of our circumstances. Mother Teresa did not aim to accomplish more to build a resume or gain recognition, she focused on doing the simple kind things that no one else chose to do, like visiting the poorest neighborhoods. Today, choose to do something kind for someone who may feel unseen.
We don’t need to win the Nobel Peace Prize or have our names listed in history books to Make Impact on the lives of those around us. Although Mother Teresa’s service was significant and world-changing, she commonly expressed the value in the small acts of kindness with inspirational words like, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”
Let’s all start learning from Mother Teresa’s genuine heart and pure intentions, and put this outlook into practice in whatever way we’re able, even if we just help one.
Are you ready to join me in Making Impact on those around us? You can start today.