The Difference Makes All the Difference!
As I spend time in India interacting with the people and the culture, it becomes increasingly obvious just how different the life I live is from the lives lived here. Even the little things are done in what I would consider a strange manner. Driving down the road is not a structured task, but a game of chicken in which the biggest, loudest, meanest driver has the advantage. The speed of everyone is not based around the clock, rather around the moment in which people feel they are ready to continue on in the day. The most noticeable difference, however, is despite the fact that many people have next to nothing, they are more gracious and happy with their lives than most Americans. With what they do have, they make the best of it. There is no constant dash to get more or have the best. This, I believe, is the most refreshing change of all. By seeing how happy people can be despite having so little, it makes me realize that most of the "problems" I have back home are really quite trivial. There's no need to spend so much time worrying about what clothes I will wear or when I can get the latest gadget, because having "things" isn't what makes life great.
There is a little boy in the village that I spend my mornings at named Souhitya who has never said a word to me outside of the lessons I teach, yet he has stolen my heart. Everyday, once we arrive, he latches on to my arm and does everything he can to stay there. No matter what I say to him or do, he stays there silently. Once we move into the classroom to begin lessons, he completely changes, doing everything he can to memorize every flash card, every picture, and every new word I teach. Yesterday, he brought me a small, yellow envelope with his name, his roll number, and the words "I love Same" written on it. He handed it to me without a word and took up his place on my arm. I opened it up and saw the pictures inside. I looked at him and told him "These are amazing. Thank you so much." He very quietly responded with "Welcome." Never before has my heart been filled with such pure happiness, and I doubt that anything will ever be able to repeat that feeling.