Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Doing what we love, appreciating all we have

Spend time in India and, at least as an American, I become more appreciative of not just what we have that makes our lives easier, but those things we take for granted. Mind you, I don't get upset about having/not having; it is what it is, but I do realize how much of it I take for granted back home in Seattle.
Water. I never know from one day to the next if my New Delhi bathroom will have water. Sometimes there is a tiny flow, other times there's nothing. Michael's bathroom had water - some of it even hot - this morning, so I showered in his room. Quickly, because the hot water vessels are small. Ahh.
Electricity. It comes and goes throughout the day. When we're out and about, it doesn't matter, but when we're inside, it is surprising how much electricity is interrupted. That affects all electrical appliances, of course - including refrigerators, TV's, radios and of course computers. I don't use a TV or radio here.
Wifi. Wireless connection is available, free. It's low quality and unsecured. When the electricity goes out, so does the wifi. Note to self: back up files.
While I have seen people here with precious little - what they have is obviously precious to them. They treat their clothes with respect - a respect I admire and now emulate.
Clean air. How grateful am I, who suffers from sinus issues, that our Northwest air is primarily so pure (there are pollution problems within Seattle and other NW industrial regions, but where I live it is near pristine). I thought I appreciated this fact of life every morning as I arose to do my daily gratitude list - but it's nowhere near as grateful as I am now, being in an area that is ... well, not so pure. Michael says wind would help clear the air - but wait! That would also just stir up the dust, which three inches thick! Anyone with sinus, lung, asthma, or breathing issues should prepare well for a trip to India.
Regarding what is apparent here that I would love to see more of back home:
The politeness of people everywhere is impressive. We are always thanking each other. For everything. And nameste is more than a "slogan." It means I see the God in you, and if we say it enough, it becomes a reality - whether you're a believer or not!
People help one another reach their goals and destinies.
Whether on what appears to be the madcap roadways (there's actually an orderly chaos if you look for it), or walkway or in the hospital or a market. Someone is there to help. Sometimes maybe a little too helpful in stores and markets, but of course they are eager to sell you their wares, because it seems that everyone in India is an entrepreneur.
This one falls in the middle: the inability to hear "no."
The Indian entrepreneur will show you six ways to Sunday why you should buy something or do something. Of course, all in your own best interest! While it is inspiring to see someone work so hard to achieve a goal, no matter how minuscule, there comes a time when negotiations must cease. For some reason when that time comes, I start speaking French. It is amazing how many people here speak French! But I terminate the discussion by saying, "Pas 'au revoir,' 'adieu.'" (Trans: This isn't "see you later," this is "good bye. Forever.")
That never give up spirit, never quit mentality is admirable on so many levels, but self-defeating at its tilting point. Still what's the worst thing that can happen? Someone says "adieu."
I definitely paid attention to this philosophy!
Off to the Rai Foundation Girl's School - where we will celebrate Indian Republic Day (this is the day the new government was formed with a democratic consitution - India is the largest democracy in the world).
We're doing more workshops Friday. It will be wonderful to see the girls again - they are marvelous - and such winners!
Then it's on to other adventures!

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