My Ideal Person Essay
Human beings are not perfect. We all have some form of deficiency that deny us the coveted tag of perfection. It may be a character flaw or a physical disability. We all have something that we are not proud of. Something that makes us so uncomfortable that our confidence levels plummet to zero whenever we think about it.
While there are things we cannot change about ourselves, such as height, intelligence, race or size of our fingers, there are other factors in our lives that we can change and they are the ones that really matter. We are not remembered for our tallness or brownness, we are remembered for our virtues or vices. Therefore, an ideal person is one who possesses all character traits that are considered virtues in society.
When I talk about an ideal person, one person comes to mind- Mother Teresa. Her name has become synonymous with sacrifice and selfless generosity. People know her from all over the world, both in the religious and secular circles. Though she was not perfect, her life embodied what I would refer to as the ideal personality. One of her best qualities was piety. She was a very faithful and religious woman.
Mother Teresa was a staunch catholic. At the tender age of 18 years, she joined the Sisters of Loreto in Dublin and became a nun. She therefore dedicated all her life towards a religious and humanitarian course and never looked back. There were instances where she felt like God had forgotten her and even questioned whether God really existed. However, she never left her catholic faith.
She was also very generous. She spent most of her life serving the poor. Form her own account, which she labeled as “a call within a call,” God spoke to her and commanded her to go help the slum dwellers in Calcutta, India. After receiving approval from Vatican, she relocated to Calcutta for the rest of her life. Using her meagre resources, she wholeheartedly helped the poor and the sick.
She left behind a lifestyle of stability and opulence, took a vow of charity, chastity and poverty and then went to a foreign country to live with the destitute. During her life, she suffered from many illnesses and injuries, including malaria, pneumonia and two heart attacks. She also had broken collar bone. The several setbacks she faced however did not deter her from moving on with her course.
Mother Teresa was also a leader and she led by example. When she saw things were not okay and people were suffering, she took it upon herself to help them. With all the poverty and misery that surrounded her, she always had the strength to put on a smile. One of the traits of great leaders is that they always give people hope when there seems to be none.
That was Mother Teresa. People rushed to her for comfort and assistance and she always found a way to help them. When she arrived in Calcutta, there was wide spread of diseases in the slums. She went to a medical institution, trained to be practitioner and went back to the slums to treat the affected. She also established various health centers to deal with the rampant spread of diseases, including leprosy that was wreaking havoc in the slums.
She was also very principled. She had her own set of beliefs that she followed to the letter and never faltered whenever she faced criticism or opposition. She openly opposed divorce, abortion and contraception. While receiving her Nobel Peace Prize for her unwavering service to humanity, she aired her critique on abortion without fear. She opined in her speech, “…I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war- a direct murder by the mother herself…” Although she received too much public backlash for her stance on abortion, contraception and divorce, she was unperturbed and made it clear to the whole world about her position.
She was also not materialistic. This is evidenced by her choice to move from the comfort of the convents to a life of complete poverty and misery in the slums of Calcutta. She was able to mobilize funds from all over the world, but she never used the money for her own personal gain. All the money she raised was channeled towards improvement of living conditions of the people in the slums. She had no desire for money.
In fact, she requested that all the money that was awarded to her after winning the Nobel Peace Prize be donated to the poor people in India. When Pope Paul VI saw the good work she was doing and decided to give her his white Lincoln limousine to help her carry out her work, She sold the vehicle and used the money to build a village for lepers.
Mother Teresa was also very authentic. She was trustworthy and a person people could rely on. She was able to rally the whole world behind her, including presidents and the royalty because of her authenticity. All her service was for the advancement of humanity and she did it from the bottom of her heart. She did not help people to get recognition or wealth, as is common nowadays with celebrities.
As a result, she was loved and recognized all over the world. In her lifetime, she was honored with more than 120 awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest civilian award in the U.S. She was also the first person to be awarded the Pope John XXIII Peace Prize. Furthermore, the city of Calcutta was renamed to Kolkata to match with the pronunciation of her native language, Bengali.
Mother Teresa was also very courageous, despite her small statue of just 5 feet. At the height of Israel-Palestinian war in Beirut, 37 children were trapped in a hospital that was caught in the line of fire. She brokered a deal between the two warring factions and as result, there was a temporary cease fire. Together with Red Cross officials, she was able to rescue the children.
Her charitable works were also not tied to a specific demography, but transcended to all groups of people. Many people mistook her charity work with missionary work and thought she was converting her adherents to the catholic faith. She took a bold stand however and proclaimed that religion was not the issue. People can still reach God regardless of religion, provided they are faithful to their God.
Lastly, she was very intelligent and resourceful. Apart from her medical training, she was also learned in geography. She was a geography and catechism teacher at St. Mary’s High School, where she later became the principal. She could also speak five languages fluently- Bengali, Hindi, English, Serbian and Albanian. Owing to her resourcefulness, she was able to use her limited resources to help so many people. Sometimes she was forced to improvise. For instance, when she started teaching poor children, she did not have the necessary supplies that were needed to teach, such as pens and books. She however managed to educate her pupils by writing on dirt using wooden sticks.
Mother Teresa is an ideal person to me, because she had all the attributes of a good person, which made her very vulnerable and at the same time very powerful. How she was able to motivate people with nothing, but her faith is nothing short of a miracle. She gave out everything she had to the poor, including her skills, resources and her life. When she went to Calcutta, she had nothing and was forced to beg and the proceeds she got from begging, she still shared.
Moreover, she did not discriminate anyone based on religion. Her humanitarian endeavors transcended all religious boundaries and as a result, she travelled all over the world doing humanitarian work. She established the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, which is still operating to this day, has more than 4000 members and is active in more than 100 nations. Although she is no longer with us, she will be forever be kept in the most precious place in our hearts.
A person does not need all the accomplishments of Mother Teresa to be considered ideal. At the end of the day, we were all given different talents and abilities. However, an ideal person always gives his personal best in whatever he does. It is due to this reason that an ideal person is trusted, loved, revered and admired for the right reasons. When an ideal person is not around, his absence is felt and people miss him. An ideal person put the needs of other first and strives to bring joy to the people around him every single day. An ideal person is hard to come by and sometimes we overlook him as the naïve guy next door. However, if the world was full of ideal persons, then it would be a better place.