Agnes was born in Macedonia a few years before World War 1. From an early age she felt a need to help others. Most children and teenagers plan for schooling, a profession and a family. After Agnes father died suddenly, she became more convicted to follow her calling to help others. She started by helping one person at a time. A few years later she moved to India and spent the rest of her life helping the poor. Although she was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize and given numerous accolades and opportunities she continued her duties of helping the poor of Calcutta. Many people travelled to see her and asked if they could help her. Mother Teresa invariably told them that the best way they could help was to go home and love their family. Her wisdom, although profound, was simple and humble. Some examples of her advice:
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
“Peace begins with a smile.”
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”
“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.”
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.”
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”
And so, in the mad complex world which envelops us, it is time to pause, to take a deep breath, to reflect on who we are and where we are going and what we want to accomplish on the way there. The importance of our “journey” is not so much in arriving but in the journey itself.
“Our true home is in the present moment.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green earth
in the present moment.
Peace is all around us–in the world and in nature–
and within us–in our bodies and our spirits.
Once we learn to touch this peace,
we will be healed and transformed.” –Thich Nhat Hanh