Shivani, aged 16

One woman, one objective – spread the message of peace (Mother Teresa)

What is peace? Generally, when people are asked this question, they would look it up in the dictionary and then answer by saying, “It is a state of quiet, freedom from war.” Factual but not accurately defined. It is not wrong by saying that peace signifies the absence of wars but it is also true that the word “peace” means a lot more. Peace is the absence of public disturbance i.e. serenity in the society, liberty from upsetting thoughts or feelings, harmony in personal relations, absence of any type of illness, and absence of poverty. In other words, “peace” means freedom from any kind of cause of uproar.

There were many people in the past who were considered as great humanitarians. At present also, we hear about distinguished personalities who are working day and night to make our Earth a better place, free from tribulations. But there was one individual in the past that stood out of the crowd. She was known for her immense involvement in spreading peace in each and every corner of the world. She was none other than Mother Teresa.

On August , 1910, Annes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, later known as mother Teresa was born in South Yugoslavia. Her entire life was dedicated towards the church and its services. When she was just 12 years old, she felt within herself the call of God, ordering her to spread love across the globe and serve the people in need. She had said once that it was not until 18 that she had thought of becoming a nun, but as soon as she was 18 by her age, she left her guardian home and joined the “Sisters of Loreto” which is an Irish community of nuns with missions in India. After a few months, she was sent to India and there she took her initial vows as a nun. But this was just one step of hers towards the religious path of God. There were more challenges awaiting her.

Mother Teresa spent her early years teaching children in St. Mary’s High School in Calcutta. But soon, she got permission from the authorities to leave the convent school and serve the poor in Calcutta because she was incredibly touched by the poverty and hardships prevailing there and wanted to change it. On the basis of this, she began a new school meant for the poor children. She did not have enough money to begin an extremely sophisticated school but she did start a raw one. Later, she was joined by voluntary helpers who helped her financially. This made her carry on her work smoothly.
In her middle years, one of the major projects that she managed to fulfill was the establishment of “The Missionaries of Charity”. This was an organization whose main job was to give love and care to people that had no one to look after them.

I strongly believe that Mother Teresa fulfills the criteria of being “The messenger of Peace”. Not only me, but it has been proved that the entire world has accepted her as the icon of peace. People loved her for her work and service to humanity. They wanted to thank her for what she had done to change the sinking society to a new and better one. They honoured her with prizes which, according to the people, were much less than what she deserved. Her first prize was the “Padma Shri” award followed by “Pope John XXIII peace prize”, “Kennedy prize”, “Templeton prize”, and of course, last but not the least, the Noble Peace Prize in 1979. The list of awards is endless, and so is the gratitude of people towards her. There was no way that they could repay her for what she had done for them.

I have always considered her to be the embodiment of peace and my idol. By spreading love and peace she has reduced the sufferings of every individual, family, nation and ultimately the entire world. It is only because of her that the world has become such a good and pure place. It is because of the establishment of “The Missionaries of Charity” that there is now help for the most needy when there are floods, epidemics, and famine, and if refugees are in dire need of help. It is because of her that the poor are getting educated to live a better life, proper food to eat and clothes to wear. There was no person in the past, is in the present or will be in the future to match her selfless deeds. She was truly one in millions.

All in all, Mother Teresa was a selfless, living saint that had changed the lives of millions of people throughout the world. She had immensely affected the lives of the poor people as well as people like herself who wanted to help others. She believed that if there is no love among people then no peace prevails. Her own words were-
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

If such a common person, with a common background can bring so much change in the lives of people across the world just by spreading love, then why can’t we? All of us are capable of doing so but don’t realize that we have to do so currently. It is now time that we realize this fact and make an effort of spreading the message of peace further on. Children should be made the primary target for doing so. However, it is true that saying so is easy, whereas, implementing it on a large scale is very difficult, but once the effort is made it will surely spread and will soon be joined by other. Campaigns, street plays, posters are examples of the ways to spread truce. Once love and peace get to rule the world, the world would become such a beautiful and marvelous place that nobody would want to harm it.

About UN News Geneva

Sharing entires to the United Nations Peace Essay competitions run by the Information Service in Geneva in 2011
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