Leprosy is a dreadful disease to say the least. While eating away the bones and flesh, the disease leaves back humans who look worse than ghouls from the worst places in hell. If not treated in time, the wounds collect dirt and body fluids that make the perfect ground for further degradation including the oozing of pus. In a matter of a few years, a healthy human is reduced to the worst degraded state, sometimes far worse than even uncared-for animals.
And the standard response of most families half-a-century back? Throw the suffer out on the street to rot and die a slow and painful death- all the while with the brain registering every painful detail, and not being able to do anything. What is one to call such a life? A curse in its worst form.
And what would you call someone who with all her senses intact sits beside a leper in his/ her worst state and takes care of all the pains and wounds? One word suffices. A God-send. Exactly what she was. Mother Teresa to the world, she was Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu to her native Albania which she left when she was hardly 15 years of age. Arriving in Kolkata in India at 18, she found home. And a purpose, a purpose so profound that it changed everything about her from her name, her thoughts and ideas to the very way she looked and perceived situations. And with renewed sights, she did what seemed impossible then. A world-wide army of volunteers today numbering close to 4,500 nuns actively working in more than 600 missions across 133 countries that serves the most badly affected of humanity be it due to diseases or other calamities. In her over four decades of working from 1950 to 1997, she has seen the shades of humanity no-one else has. That brought her the most unique of insights which in some cases came about in the form of interesting quotes, some of which we state below.
- Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
- Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
- 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.
- Intense love does not measure, it just gives.
- Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
- Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.