I remember as a teenager cherishing a picture of Mother Teresa that I had plucked from a Reader's Digest magazine and placed in a photo frame.
I was christened in the Catholic church but attended a Baptist church growing up, the message Mother Teresa imparted, however, negated - and is still able to negate, religious differences and views, her face and words transcend religion and appeal to our humanity.
Her mission to make the world a better place stirred me deeply, it was as if she had placed a light in my heart that made me believe that I too could impart beauty and love into this world and by doing so, impart social change.
Mother Teresa devoted (in every sense of the word) her life to the poor in the slums of Calcutta, India and cared for those that nobody wanted.
Mother Teresa received a number of awards and distinctions throughout her life including the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize (1971) and the Nehru Prize for her promotion of international peace and understanding (1972), the Balzan Prize (1979), the Templeton and Magsaysay awards and the Nobel Peace Prize (1979) but it is not for these awards that she will be remembered but instead for her tireless efforts to do "small things with great love" (Mother Teresa).
"Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbour... 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, kindness in your warm greeting."
- Mother Teresa