Our words and actions can inspire others
by Janice Ross (revised, originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how words and actions can be used to inspire others.
Preparation and materials
Have available some images of famous people and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples could be:
- Mother Teresa, available at: http://tinyurl.com/gs9xedb
- Winston Churchill, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ycpxxag2
- Nelson Mandela, available at: http://tinyurl.com/gqauxkl
- Andy Murray, available at: http://tinyurl.com/h3m6q6b
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, available at: https://tinyurl.com/hythcf2
- Cristiano Ronaldo, available at: http://tinyurl.com/hmrd66x
You will also need a candle and the words ‘Peace begins with a smile’ displayed.
Further information about Mother Teresa is available at: http://www.motherteresa.org/
- Ask the children to tell you the name of their favourite famous person.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Show the images of famous people one at a time.
Ask the children if they can identify them. Explain briefly why each person is famous.
- Some of these famous people have inspired others to attempt to do great things. For example, sportspeople often inspire younger people to follow in their footsteps. Other famous people inspire others by the example of their lives. A good example of this is Mother Teresa.
- Show the image of Mother Teresa.
Mother Teresa is one example of an inspirational figure. Physically, she looks very different from a famous sportsperson, but her life and attitude have had a massive impact on others.
- Sometimes, wealthy people who visited Mother Teresa would say, ‘What can I do to bring hope and peace in the world like you are doing?’
Many expected her to say, ‘Give generously’, ‘Come and work here for a year’ or ‘Start an orphanage where you live’. However, Mother Teresa often gave the very simple answer, ‘Peace begins with a smile.’
- Isn’t that amazing? If we just start smiling at people and loving people with a smile, we could begin to change things in our homes, our classrooms, our town and even in our world.
- (Optional) We are now in the Christian season of Lent. During this time, it is traditional for people to give up something to show that they love God, and we are encouraged to think about those who have less than we do. Perhaps you could decide to smile more often during this time, as a way of helping our community to feel more at peace.
Time for reflection
Light a candle, and give the children some quiet time to reflect again on the words of Mother Teresa, ‘Peace begins with a smile.’
Think about any situation you have already experienced since you got up this morning, such as at breakfast time, when leaving the house or on arriving at school.
- How might a smile have changed the situation?
- How might a smile have affected the other person?
- Did anyone smile at you this morning?
A smile is such a simple thing.
It makes us feel good, and smiling has been proved to be good for us.
A smile costs nothing and is so easy to do, over and over again.
Please help us to meet situations and people with a smile today.
Help us to bless others with our smiles and to bring peace with our smiles.
‘Peace is flowing like a river’ (Hymns Old and New, (Kevin Mayhew), 412, 2008 edition)