Monday, June 4, 2012

Twenty-one Things India Taught Me

• The value of perspective and patience.

• The joy of spontaneity.

• The ability to think and react quickly.

• Simple pleasures are the best things in life. The Taj Mahal was amazing, but time spent in villages, dancing at weddings or on a quiet walk with friends were just as memorable and special. The Golden Temple in Amritsar is the most beautiful place I have ever been, but because of the atmosphere and Sikh values that the temple represents (such as equality), rather than the pure gold that it is made of.

• Sometimes you just need to let go of everything that makes sense to you, and embrace the moment... 'surrender to circumstance'.

• The people around you make your experiences, not the place itself.

• I should brush my teeth well if I drink 4-5 cups of chai per day (getting 4 fillings on return to NZ was not fun). If granny's late night milk tastes especially sweet and delicious, it is probably a good idea to brush your teeth before going to sleep..

• Do what you can. But ultimately, you can't force someone to do something they don't want.

• People usually do the best they can given their circumstances, even if they know it is wrong.

• You don't necessarily need to know the same language - actions are the most important when connecting with other people.

• Life is too short to not enjoy what you do. In New Zealand, most of us are lucky enough to have opportunity and control over our future. If you have a choice, do what you love.

• You can do more than you think.

• Always get off the tourist trail when going to a country.

• You can learn something from everybody.

• The meaning of true hospitality... people spending a day cooking a 6 course meal (before meeting me) is very humbling. If you have ever shelled peas for 4 hours, you will also appreciate this!

• Most people are willing to overlook small (or big) mistakes if they know your heart is in the right place.

• The best things in life are free. However in saying this, warm water is also a beautiful thing. I was reminded this as I showered in freezing water in a bathroom made for the 40 degree summer during the Punjab winter (averaging 5 degrees). But for every challenge is a solution (bring on the metal rod to heat a bucket of water..just be mindful of electrocution )

• Luck favours the well prepared.

• There is no point complaining about something... it will happen when it happens.

• Learn to make yourself happy... the world owes you nothing.

• Change is powerful, exciting, wonderful.

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