Wisdom From Mother Teresa on Creating Change and Spreading Love
Mother Teresa was one of the most influential people of her time. Being an advocate for the sick and poor, she went on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979, the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize in 1971, and the Nehru Prize for Promotion of International Peace and Understanding in 1972. Not even going into her awards, she was able to spread a message a giving oneself to others through acts of charity to those far an wide. Mother Teresa was truly a noble woman who was able to spread a message of aid throughout the world. One wonders how she was able to accomplish so many amazing feats. Here we set out to examine Mother Teresa’s philosophies on how to create positive change in the world around us.
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
Mother Teresa knew that, even with someone of her tenacity, she could not produce the change she wanted to see alone. When we take action, we inspire others to do the same. We stand as an example for like-minded individuals to carry on our mission. No matter how you might see the person, one person still can’t be everywhere at once. Creating a pay it forward mentality in all of those that you touch is the best way to inspire a movement of change.
“Peace begins with a smile.”
One aspect of ourselves that we can always control is our attitude. Our attitude resonates with who we are and what we are trying to do. Something as simple as a smile speaks volumes to who you are and what your message inspires within you.
Also, a smile is something that we can give to everybody that we meet with very low effort. It doesn’t take much to smile, but it can mean the world to those who receive it. A smile benefits everybody in the room. It is a gift to all around you.
While at times it may seem hard to smile for your own sake, maybe it would be easier if it was for someone else’s sake.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Just like with the smile, don’t overlook the small things that you can do to make the world and the people around you a little better. In addition, be looking out for the little things that other people do for you. It is easy to get caught up in the massive action movement that is going on in the world today. People making huge grandiose actions. Not to say there’s anything wrong with massive action. It is just super important to never forget about the small acts of kindness that you can do every single day. No one is ever too important to be kind. No one is ever too important to go out of their way to help someone. No one is ever too important to smile. While to us it may seem that these actions don’t gain us any ground or push us forward, they do more for us than we know. The small actions are us. They are how people perceive us. The small actions are how we build relationships with those around us, and those relationships help us to build a community of people who can do great things.
In addition, never overlook the small things that other people do for you. The small things that people do are often recognize most when they are gone. It is believed that these are the things that we truly miss about people when they go. The way that they would bring your mail to your door. The way they kept you company in the laundry room even though they were done. The way they pushed you just a little bit harder than everyone else did to be your best. If life was a breath, these actions are the oxygen.
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
Focus on what you put out to the world. While the world may throw all kinds of things in your face, you can always control what you put out. If you were to put out anything, love is not a bad choice. Throw love in all directions no matter what comes in yours. A lot of people don’t understand that just because some may try to throw hate and harshness at us that we need to reciprocate. If we just remember to focus on what we give to the world, we will not be spreading any hate.
Imagine someone is trying to give you hot coals to hold in your hand. If you except the hot coals then you will start to get burnt, and they succeeded in giving away their hot coals. If you do not accept the coals, then the person trying to give them remains to hold them. You were mean unburnt. The person holding them as a choice to either keep holding on to the coals or to let them go. Of course, they want to give you the calls as much as they can because the coals burn, and they don’t want to hold them anymore. If you do not except the coals, they may soon realize that there is no point in holding them at all. If you have already heard of the story, but if you haven’t the coals represent hatred that people try to spread to one another. When people try to throw hate at you, you do not need to accept it. When you do not accept other people's hate to, they begin to realize that there’s no point in holding hate, to begin with.
“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
Remember not to just hold love but to give it out freely. Spread your love through your words and actions. Be a beacon that people know emanates loving action. People love to be around love. You can see this in her words, “I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like, but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us, he will not ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’ rather he will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
Here is another theme of Mother Teresa. There have been so many that have come before us that have done amazing things in the field of what we want to contribute to the world. Do not be discouraged by those who came before you. They have laid out the path. Know that no matter what you do in your efforts of contribution, you are a valued part of the whole. No matter how big or small, more is more. The important part is to find something that you have worth and contributing in and to start contributing however much you can. That is all we can ask and all we can do. This is emphasized when she goes on to say, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”