Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa. The winner of the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa is most remembered for her work with the poor via the Missionaries of Charity Sisters.
While I will never be confused with Mother Teresa, I have found inspiration in the life she lived. That inspiration has led me to living a life of no regrets.
I have two quotes credited to Mother Teresa that are often in my mind. The first is “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
Imagine holding the power within yourself to make another’s life just a little easier. We all have that power and it is so easy to use.
I have worked with the public my entire working life. I’ve been a real estate title agent helping people sift through the most important financial transaction of their lives. I’ve smelled truck drivers as they enter a Pilot Travel Center following hours on the road. I’ve been a server, a bartender and a cake decorator in a grocery store. My own home-based business involves standing face-to-face with customers.
That simple smile that Mother Teresa described can do so much for another person. A smile can relax the tensions of the world. That smile may not solve the problems of another, but it may make those problems just a little more easy to bear.
The second quote attributed to Mother Teresa that guides my life is this: “Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
Helping another should not be dictated by policy – neither governmental policy nor church policy. Each of us has within a way to help another. I’m not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, but I’ve found ways to assist with my time.
I’ve helped raise money for band uniforms. I’ve spread the word through my writing about causes I believe in. I’ve pitched in to help serve meals to the homeless. I’ve been a volunteer at events supporting the United States Marine Corps annual Toys for Tots campaign. That clock is always ticking, but if I truly want to help I can find a way.
The legacy of Mother Teresa’s life is that of service to others, of bringing a little light to the lives of those less fortunate. As I lay on my deathbed, I will not have thoughts of “what if?” I will not wonder what it feels like to experience the joy of helping another.
I have freely given my smiles and I have freely given my time.
Sources: Mother Teresa.org ; Brainy Quote