I have seen and experienced many things this trip that has left an imprint on me that I believe will influence me for the rest of my life. The lessons I have learned are many, however I will only speak of one with in this blog. The lesson that seems to stand out to me the most at this time is that of progression and love. These two seemingly unrelated topics became stringed together and almost one idea through the experiences I gained in India.
When my group first went to the school we were assigned, a little girl with a pink sweater and the most beautiful eyes caught my own eyes. When I went to say hello, with the intent to also find out her name, she stayed stoic and unmoved as if she were a marble statue. When I was met with this lack of participation and interest , I soon lost my own and went on to meet other kids. On the second day I again tried to crack that shell that was Pishu. That day I was able to find out her name, through her sister, and extract a few "high fives" and the occasional "bones" but once again, she seemed completely uninterested with me and, what I had recently thought was irresistible, my charm. The next day come and I had grown closer to the boys of the school. It seems a that tickle fight can break down any amount of shyness within children. After realizing this, I went to try this philosophy on the impenitrable Pishu. By the end of that day, I had her fallowing me around trying to sneak up on me in order to tickle me. That was the first time I had gotten her to smile and actually make eye contact. On the fourth day Pishu came to me during one of the lessons and sat on my lap. When this happened it warmed my heart and I was so happy I didn't know what to do with myself. I just sat there with a huge smile on my face. When the fifth and final day came, Pishu hung by my side for most of the day, which was a battle due to the boys and there new found love of piggy back rides. As we were packing up and saying our goodbyes all of the kids began mauling us with hugs. As the boys were saying there goodbyes to me and squeezing me to death, little Pishu sat back waiting for a turn to give me a huge. Seeing this just about broke my heart and made saying goodbye 10 times harder. Within the five short days that we visited our schools, I fell in love with Pishu.
Through this experience with Pishu I learned the lesson of progression and love. Through the progress made by a constant will, we attain love. Last night I was asked whether or not I felt like a different person after YMAD. As I pondered about the answer I would give, I realized that I probably didn't change personality wise, however, my perspective on life and love had. With time and a constant will, we can learn to love anyone and everyone and I plan on bringing this thought process home with me as a sort of a keep-sake.
S. Cooper Harris