Mother Teresa was born in Macedonia in 1910 and is of Albanian descent. She joined an Irish community, the Sisters of Loreto, when she was eighteen and after being trained, was sent to a convent in Calcutta.
She was very moved by the poverty she saw there and, when she was thirty-eight, she was given permission to cease her work in the convent school and work directly with the most poor in the slums, developing an outdoor school. Over time, she was joined by other helpers and when she was forty, she received permission from the Pope to found her own order - the Missionaries of Charity - caring for the most poor in society.
She received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and her missionary order now flourishes throughout the world. A more detailed biography can be read on the Nobel Prize website.
The following words are reported to have been found on the wall of Mother Teresa's Children's Home, Shishu Bhavan, in Calcutta and/or on a wall of her home. They are now closely linked with her.
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
These words are a modification of The Paradoxical Commandments - written by Dr. Kent Keith in 1968 to encourage and guide other student leaders.