Looking at these pictures give me a happy, yet sad feeling of leaving all these wonderful people. I am often consumed by what I am doing, and I always assume that everyone around me has to understand. For this trip I let that go a little bit and i promised myself i would be more of a sponge and let my mind absorb as much as it could. It turns out that everything i learned was beautiful. There was no hidden agenda behind the simple fact that we are guests and they wanted to see us happy.
The women helped us get dressed in our saris (even though they were too dressy for the occasion), the cops welcomed us, strangers welcomed us and most importantly, my team welcomed me like no other group project I’ve ever done in my life! What was interesting to me was the fact that instead of looking at us as people with no culture, they asked questions and they highly admired all our answers.
I am certainly not used to hearing how cool the American culture is, or how people wish they could do it our way, but something tells me no matter who comes across rural India, they too will be welcomed with nothing but kindness. I keep mentioning rural India, because in a lot of ways I believe that area is very different than urban India (like Delhi or Agra). The fact that Delhi is more developed also means ” the western ways” has infiltrated the cities and it doesn’t quite feel as different than our culture in those areas.I saw people dressed like us, they even used the same slang as us – which is why Hubbali was so shocking and eye-opening.
People were generally thankful that we were willing to sit down and teach them all while being awed by the fact that they barely ever saw white brothers and sisters around. They also were always willing to stop anything for a selfie, a random picture or just plain old great conversation. In a sense, I feel as if we have lost that notion of kindness here and timeliness is more important than just simply making sure someone is okay. Not once did i ever somebody mention money in our business classes; the question always was, ” but how are you helping people”? And it was very refreshing. Many ideas were thrown into our brainstorms and many positive outlooks came from not just always talking profits.
After this trip I feel extra blessed to be in a country like the USA, where we have toilets with water some Indians would be happy to drink from, where our money that we spend on make-up can pay for somebody’s meal twice every day for a year in India. To put it simply I am very lucky and blessed and I would like to take this opportunity to rethink some of my decisions in life for 2017. Being a minimalist might be a great idea, but I also want to work on how to actually help that make a difference somewhere. We are consumed by corporate America and we forget sometimes that all it takes is a very wonderful business plan to take care of two problems (Like Air BnB, TOMS,Ben & Jerry’s, etc…).
Meeting the owner and founder of seven beans was the most impactful speech simply because of all the times he’s been defeated. He taught me a lot by talking about ways he’s fallen. he also taught me a lot by just always mentioning helping and talking to us about where he borrowed ideas from.