Sunday Snippet: Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

In many parts of the world, today is Mother’s Day. It’s a day that is celebrated everywhere from Canada to Zimbabwe, Bangladesh to Singapore, Denmark to Venezuela. And for a lot of us, this means taking our moms, grandmas and baby mamas out to Sunday brunch. Or it might mean showering your mom with gifts. And while she may not have been a “mom” in the most traditional of senses, Mother Teresa embodied all that is good and right by taking care of all her “children.”

Yes, we should all express our gratitude, love and appreciation to all the mothers in our lives, but we also mustn’t lose sight of what is truly important. Even if, like me, you are not a devout Christian and you’re not particularly religious, you can still take the message of Mother Teresa to heart.

Rather than solely looking within ourselves and only approaching the world with a “what’s in it for me?” frame of mind, look outwards and consider how you can better the lives of those around you. On Mother’s Day, we may focus our energies on family, looking to our moms, grandmas, children, cousins, aunts and uncles. At the same time, it may be equally important to look out for people you may not even know.

“Kind words are short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

It doesn’t take much. Instead of aggressively cutting someone off in traffic and engaging in road rage, be courteous to the other drivers on the road. Instead of quietly grumbling to yourself while waiting in line at the supermarket checkout, smile at your fellow shoppers and offer assistance to those who could use it. You could really make someone’s day.

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.”

Most of us cannot expect to have the same kind of impact and lasting legacy as Mother Teresa. Many of us may not have the resources to lift a small village out of poverty. But what you can do is to be a nice person and start by helping just one person at a time.

As Gandhi once said, be the change you wish to see in this world. Be kind, be generous, and act out of love always.