Now that I have been home for a week I have had a chance to reflect upon my trip. Of course there are the simple things that I was thrilled to get back in my life upon arrival at
: Dulles Airport
§ A toilet (instead of a hole in the dirt – their holes make jiffy johns look immaculate)
§ A toilet seat (instead of just the toilet when I was lucky enough to have a toilet)
§ Toilet paper! (instead of always carrying around a wad with me in my pockets and backpack)
§ A sink, soap and paper towels to wash my hands…that is the ultimate grand slam! You would have thought I had won the lottery when I had all these things and saw how clean the bathroom was in
. Dulles International Airport
§ Cleanliness! Ahhh, the joy of a hot shower anytime of the day versus an intermittent cold water drip.
I cannot say enough good things about what this trip has done for me and how it has changed me. There are so many stories that it can be hard to know where to begin when someone asks me, “How was your trip?” But beyond the stories and photos there have been deeper insights for me upon settling back into my life….
One of the things that struck me immediately upon arriving at Dulles (besides the bathrooms) was how busy and unhappy many people looked in the airport. We complain about the minutia and create drama where none should exist. We are so busy with life and letting life happen to us – we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the “have to’s”, the “should’s”, and so called “needs”. We have so much STUFF, yet we WANT more, though we NEED none of it. We get sucked into having to “keep up with the Joneses”. We feel compelled to be productive every second of our days, cramming every instant full, yet still never getting it all done. The lists, the never ending lists – WHOA, what a minute, I was looking in the mirror -- that is ME I am describing!!! I had hit the nail on the head with a giant sledgehammer.
Nothing in our lives is critical. Relatively speaking our lives are EASY. We NEVER in our entire lives wake up worrying about our daily survival. We don’t spend our entire waking existence growing our food, walking miles to get wood for the fire, collecting potable water or building our own homes out of mud, thatch or the bricks we fire ourselves. Don’t get me wrong I am not about to donate all my belongings to charity and become a gypsy, however, I certainly cherish my life more than ever before and now there is simply joy and happiness where there used to be frustrations and annoyances over nothing. We are so absorbed in our lives here and caught up in our immediate ‘world’ that surrounds us that we cannot fully comprehend the lives of most of the rest of the world. I have been grinning from ear to ear ever since I returned home. I am SO thankful to have been given this opportunity to broaden my view of the world. The freedom and prosperity that we enjoy here is like no other place on the planet.
I wonder though do we even hear the birds chirping in the trees? See the butterfly dancing across the air? Smell the fresh cut grass? Do we pause to enjoy the blazing sunset? Do we eat dinner with our loved ones? Do we make time to sit still? Do we talk to each other eye to eye or just virtually? Ultimately the final question though is, do we really appreciate all that we have? I thought I did, but now I have gotten to a whole new level of gratitude. I am incredibly grateful that I was born in
, to loving parents in a supportive family, with caring friends, and have been blessed with every opportunity available that I could ever possibly need. America
Despite the struggles we all endure at various stages of our lives, we are all extremely fortunate here and it is purely chance that we were born in this country versus some other place in the world. I don’t think it is possible to truly ‘get it’ until you lose what you have or see what life is like for most of the rest of the world. And in fairness to all of us it is hard to fully appreciate all that we have when we know no other way. There is no need to feel guilty over our good fortune, but I do believe there is a responsibility that comes with prosperity. We have the responsibility to make the most of our opportunities, to take full advantage of what we have, but also to “pay it forward” by sharing our knowledge, time, and love to enrich the lives of those around us to develop, grow and fully experience this wonderful ride of life.
! My view of the world has expanded and my place in it has forever changed. That is the best gift of all that I received from this journey -- perspective. Tanzania
My only wish is that everyone could have a similar experience.
This is my final blog and I will leave you all with one last thought…
FULLY CONNECT TO LIFE WITH YOUR HEART. You will be amazed how enriched your life will become.
|Post session Group Hug in Kigoma|