We’ve come into the last week of the June holidays and just in a flash, our one month (that’s 31 days) of non-school days are coming to an end. It’s apt, I suppose, to be at my desk as I am, putting aside my revision materials for a bit, to be writing about the highlights of my month. In a nutshell, this has been a month of lessons for me.
The highlights of the month has been the International Understanding Trip to Cambodia followed by the Youth Corps Induction Programme and bit by bit, I hope to be writing about the countless lessons I have taken away as I start to internalise them finally and share with you these precious lessons that have allowed my outlook now, to evolve into a kind of surreal that I hope stays with me for a longer time.
In a way, all these have been a reminder of how every get-together of strangers is a magical union of people, a gathering of new experiences, life stories, perspectives. I have seen how people grow to talk in their certain way, think about things in their own way and express themselves very differently from others. And just as how I believe we can never get to understand people completely without an infinite amount of time, this two exhilarating weeks of interaction with such good-hearted and passionate people has re-enforced my idea that you only lead one life, and the way to know more than what your life has taught you, is to learn from the lives of others.
During the youth corps induction camp, we had a (somewhat) emotional experience in the “River of life” activity where we had some alone time at peaceful corners of the OBS compound drawing our River of Life that depicted the milestones that we’ve been through and can remember from birth till present. This was followed by a sharing amongst three people who took turns to literally walk their rivers of life, telling the story to the two other people with them walking on either sides of him/her and listening intently. Taking turns to hear entire life stories littered with emotions and derived beliefs, we achieved relationships of a very different level. And the next time I watched the actions or speech of the two other people I shared this moment with, I experienced a very special level of understanding. Every decision had a reason, that could only be explained with their stories from their past.
Even as the International Understanding Team questioned continuously our purpose and effect from being in the orphanage, we learned this power of influence that we possessed just from the genuine interaction that we engaged in.
So a lesson I have learned, is as we enter one another’s River of Life adding that extra ripple or taking away that one drop of water, we change the course of water and bring it in a very different direction from what it would have been without your entrance. Now who says we can’t change people and the world.