It’s said: we should look around and notice – there are five people that are indispensable part of our life. Five people that share our day, our dreams, and sometimes even our bed; five people that we eat, talk, work and study with. Look carefully and choose wisely. Because there is high possibility that you accidently acquire their qualities and bad habits. And after all it is a matter of personal choice. Your choice!
Speaking of which.. One day I was reading the messages I received from my friends in response to my story about the trip to India. I noticed that all of them were concerned about the conditions in which I was living in at the place where I was volunteering.
I remind you that all the things that I’ve read in articles and books about the life in India, gave me one very altered notion of what later I found out the country really is.
More often, you will read how there are problems with the electricity cut-offs or with the running hot water, or how dirty people and the streets are. Once I read a story in a forum about one man who had a vacation in India who claimed he put in the trash all of his clothes after landing back to his country. The reason behind his decision was his inability to stand the smell of them after his trip. I strongly dislike this kind of exaggeration because it seems to me as a bad judgment of this beautiful country and lack of respect to the culture, tradition, and the way of living, which I believe is a conclusion everybody should personally make for himself.
In general, in all the documentary movies I’ve watched before departing, I was able to see mainly the negative side of this Asian country – dirt, poverty, disorder, madness.
What changed in my point of view during my stay, only after 20 days in Udaipur, was my perception for the conditions of life.
I love the phrase “It is not important what is happening, but how we react on it.”
Nowadays, I believe everything is freedom. There is no “correct” way of living. It’s all point of view. We are numerous, and more important we are different characters and cultures, and judging the person next to you for not living his life according to your beliefs, seems to me like stupidity.
I understand that in the more developed countries (in economical sense), India may seem as a unsettled, sometimes even unpleasant destination due to its traffic, pollution, slow bureaucratic system, etc., but, and there is always one big BUT, who are we to decide if clean clothes and no cows on the road is the “proper” way of wellbeing?
I’ve seen that the parents of my students were clean, with normal clothes, and I was wondering why are they not focusing on keeping the decent look of their kids?
I’ve discussed this with some people and they’ve explained to me that it is not lack of care, it is just that the children are playing all the time outside, and no matter if they are with some nice clothes, at the end of the day they come back home all dirty.
Now I am asking you, my dear readers, who are living in better economical conditions – when was the last time your kid was playing all day long among the nature with his friends or relatives? Probably you live in a big city and there is a high criminality so you are afraid to let your kid stay outside for the whole day? Or there is no park nearby where it could play? Think about this. Maybe it would be just as unusual for an Indian that your kid is spending its time from an early age mainly in front of the TV, or that children living in more developed societies are nowadays addicted to computer games and online chats; that they are addicted to junk food and all the sweets with tones of sugar that turn their little bodies into massive ones; that they suffer from obesity. In India, for almost 3 months, I didn’t see even one kid with such problem, but every day in Europe I see many. Seeing the both sides of the coin, I can also see that every society has its benefits and also its flaws. There is no unique solution to what is right or wrong education.
In Udaipur, I was observing my students playing outside before and after the lessons. I saw a real friendship between them. They were laughing with that pure and real laugh that is so rare to hear. I was watching them run and play with their torn clothes, and they were unable to notice, furthermore to judge each other for this. All of them were equal and the thing that differs them weren’t their new gadgets, but their characters. All of this makes me wonder – who could tell which is right and which is wrong?
What I mean is that, in my opinion, there are plenty versions “happy and decent living”. The World fascinates me with its diversity, and not its similarity. I believe that our mission as human beings is to keep and respect this diversity and furthermore to be united in it.
The will to help others is great, but even greater is to appreciate ourselves, the closest people around us, our traditions, our beliefs. If we want to serve the others, first we need to learn to respect our country, our education and culture. Because this gives us our identity, this distinguishes us from the others. More important, we should let other people live their life the way they have chose to do it without pointing fingers at them and we should not try to force our opinion. We neither have to regret them, but simply to appreciate. To appreciate what we have, to appreciate what they have.
Learn to be respectful to different kind of people! Because everyone is fighting a battle of their own. We all have our problems, bad sides, and bad days. But keep in mind there is much more behind this. Behind me, behind you, behind everyone. And what is left is simply appreciation and joy of life. Joy of what we have, joy of what makes us happy. So don’t be judgmental! Because one of the best things one can have is freedom, the freedom to choose how to live his own life; freedom to choose those five people and enjoy each and every day!