Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Well, I've been back home to Los Angeles for a whole week now and the feeling of India is still inside me. It's a mixture of frenetic energy to do more with my days but also find time to slow down, listen and appreciate what is around me. India taught me that I don't need much to be happy. I've always known that and my lifestyle bears that out but still, it's good to be reminded of it every now and again. It's funny, I was driving for the first time in a month and didn't mind that I was sitting in traffic for nearly 30 minutes on the freeway. I laughed because compared to India, this traffic was quiet, calm, the road was smooth and paved, cars moved in one direction, and there were no cows to dodge on the freeway! I appreciated this traffic for what it wasn't. But that's not the only thing I got out of being in India. I was once again reminded that to a large extent, your quality of life depends on the people you choose to surround yourself with. In India, I made friends easily with natives and foreigners alike because the experience was new and sometimes you are forced into situations without the benefit of thinking too much. Being back made me realize that I made a lot of right decisions with my friends here. Everyone was eager to hear about my trip just as I was excited to hear about what I missed being away. It's nice to know you can go away for a month and when you see your friends again, pick up like you never missed a beat.
Back to India, I was glad that I got to test my theory about volunteering and doing good. I raised a good amount of money from friends and family to spread to people in need on the trip and I'm happy to say it was a success. There's a popular theory that says you shouldn't help those in need because it only makes them dependent on you and that they'll never learn to do things on their own. Well, what if those people are some of the poorest kids you'll ever meet who only want an education without being beaten by their teachers? Or what if they are old men on the verge of passing into eternity, who only ask for a soothing massage or help getting dressed, so they can live out their days with dignity? Or even still, mentally handicapped children who have been abandoned by their families, who only want to sit in your lap as they listen to music? I say those people who don't believe in charity, have never been on the receiving end. It's well worth it to give to those who cannot do what we take for granted. Without being too preachy, I'll end it here and I encourage those of you who are reading to get involved in your own community. You don't have to go half way around the world to find someone who needs a hand. There's probably someone in your own family who could benefit from your time and care. If not now, when?
Wow, didn't mean to wrap up my trip with a call to action but you know what, get out there and do it!