"Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin."
— Mother Teresa
"There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won't go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beautiful and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated, intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds...I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor."
So I know that I haven't posted since getting home from India, but these past few weeks India has really been on my mind. Having now been home for a few months I've been able to truly step back and look at all the things I've learned and the lasting ways I've really changed. I believe that it's easier to understand the importance of service and the love that comes from it while it is your whole focus; each day in India was completely and totally devoted, but now that I'm home it's time for real life again and that was a very, very hard change for me.
|finally home after hours and hours of flying!|
It is a much harder challenge to serve those around you here at home. There are many in need, but sometimes their struggles are not as obvious as a bleeding ulcer or missing limb. However, their plight is just as important.
|Bandaging a man's foot.|
This day taught me so much about my own strength when I put others before myself.
In India I learned about love. I learned that it is possible to look past outward appearances and see beauty. I learned to be slower to judge, and how to be patient. I've noticed that since I've been home I have more of an awareness of the simple beauties around me, the sunsets, fall leaves, etc., and even though it may sound silly, those things truly enrich my life. I have no reason to be upset, with all of this beauty around me.
|boats on the Gange river|
This past semester in college has been incredibly challenging with all the competition for the nursing program and moving away from home to a whole new state I'd never stepped foot in before. But when times got tough I found myself turning to those experiences from this past summer in order to rearrange my priorities. I have been so much more motivated with my schoolwork than I ever have in the past. I want so badly to finish my schooling so that I can use the knowledge I will gain to touch the lives of others and to hopefully return to India and be more useful to Rising Star.
I remember coming home and just crying because I wanted so badly to return to India and continue working. I told my mom that I was terrified of forgetting the things I learned and felt. I wanted to stay holed up in my room reading and rereading my blog with henna on my hands and wearing my chudidar, but I realized that was not the true purpose of my trip. India was an amazing place, but it was really the work I did there that changed me, and it would always be a part of me. In my heart I knew that trapping everything I learned inside myself was not the purpose of my experience. I am meant to turn outward not inward, to share what I've learned not only through words but through actions. I'm no longer afraid of forgetting what I learned, it is impossible to forget something that so profoundly changes your life.
And even though I still hope in my heart that I will one day be able to return to India, and hear the children whom I learned to love call me auntie again, and once again wash the feet of another person and show them that they are loved, I know that if I can remember what I've learned and continue in service in my own country I will be doing my part. India is forever in my heart, it is a part of me, the people I met changed my life, and I know that I will carry these experiences with me always.
If you are interested in volunteering for Rising Star and changing your own life please, please feel free to get more information at: www.risingstaroutreach.org/volunteerinindia
I promise you you are stronger then you think. You, yes you, can do amazing things whether they be through Rising Star or any other organization, or even come from your own ideas.
Life is not easy, but life is beautiful.
You are a unique person with unique talents;
there are lives that only you can touch.
Don't keep those lives waiting one more minute.
What can you do to change the world?