20 life lessons I learned in India
India is supposed to be the land of spirituality, where modern men and women are still in connection with their ancient wisdom. Ashrams dot the country every which way and bus loads of well-off foreigners and scraggly backpackers come here for inspiration to find the truth, to open their eyes or escape something back home.
As our time here is coming to an end, I wanted to share what I learned about life in our two and a half months in India, even though none of this “enlightenment” was attained in an ashram, from a guru with a long beard or in exchange for payment. Even for those of us not seeking spiritual attainments, India is rich on lessons.
Here are some of those I am leaving with.
1. There is incredible beauty in traditions
2. Without rules and regulations, the rich exploit the poor and share essentially none of their gains.
3.Â Don’t take electricity for granted
4. Never believe freely offered information, ask for second, third and if possible, fourth opinion.
5. If people don’t raise their voices, governments will mistreat them until they do
6.Â If women don’t raise their voices, men will mistreat them until they do.
7.Â Cows make for better street dogs.
8. When each person only sweeps filth away from their own space, but nobody actually picks it up, eventually everyone ends up buried in shit.
9.Â Â When not explicitly forbidden to, men urinate everywhere.
10.Â Despite a lot of chest bashing, America doesn’t know anything about entrepreneurship.
11. When something is forbidden, people always find a way around it
12.When money is not involved, people are nicer, more generous and open.
13.Â “Where are you from?” and “What is your name?” are rarely innocent questions
14. If you find something interesting, you should go and look at it. If you see someone interesting, you should go and talk to them.
15. Life can be ugly. No. Even uglier than that
16. Life is not fair
17. The untouchables of this world, cannot be anything they want,Â Mr. and Mrs. Inspirational Speakers
18. People are cheap and dispensable
19. Life is better with a band
20. Deep-seeded and devotedÂ religion does not make for a better life by any measure
lovely…possibly my favorite post yet.
We have to admit, although we love reading your blogs and your pics are incredible, this was quite depressing. Would love to hear more about the good you found while in India. Lets face it, there is always going to be both good and bad to focus on and the news does a good enough job of pointing out the bad, which is the reason why we don’t watch it.
Look forward to your next post.
Nancy & Shawn
As a first generation Indian-American, I really appreciate your lessons from India. I have over the years had many friends interested in “finding themselves” in India. I have found over the many trips I have taken my entire life back and forth – that finding yourself is often figuring out who YOU are when faced with a maimed child, begging for money, knowing that child is going to go give that money to the criminal who made her that way. Finding yourself is being able to digest extreme beauty and extreme ugliness in one frame and make sense of it all. Good luck on your next adventure!
India seems to have left some melancholy. I’m hoping sheer delight makes a swift return. Where to next?
Thank u so much for enlightening and cherishing true colors of india.
thats why we say
* INCREDIBLE INDIA*
IF THERE IS A PARADISE IT IS INDIA..IT IS INDIA. IT IS INDIA.
( IAN A JOURNALIST FROM INDIA)
Liz, I dont see how one can travel through India without hitting the melancholy bubble.
Kishore and Preeti, I did not expect that my India will resonate with people so close to it, so it was nice to get your comments.
Nancy and Shawn, of course there is good in everything, but being blind to the other side of the coin, especially on lands far away from our comforts, is not what I am able to do.
Megan, thank you.