Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Early Years 2010 - Adjustment to India - Outside the Fantasy

Originally posted May 26, 2010

My experience so far in India is and isn't what I expected.  I have come to the conclusion that we (Americans) live in a world of ignorance.  Each one of us, whether we realize it or not, live within our own personal "fantasy" world.  American society in general has taught us to fill our lives with material objects.  We are constantly striving to make money and buy bigger and better things.  We are over achievers, always searching for something to complete us.  We build these lives as a way to deny facing the reality of the world around us. Yes we read the newspapers, we watch the news broadcasts, we may even donate some money toward a worthy cause.  But this is the limit of our perceptions.  What is really occurring in the world outside of our perfect existences is not reality to us.  It is only when we remove ourselves from the surplus of comforts and false ideals that we come to reality. Once an American steps outside of his or her fantasy, they are forever changed. Experiencing life in a developing country is life altering.  All of the comforts of home are gone.  I see poverty in my front yard, have seen it in the eyes of children and the elderly.  I have witnessed homeless animals digging through trash to survive, and beggars with nothing of their own but sorrow.  The earth is heavily abused, and the only difference between here and home is that the exploitation isn't swept under the rug as it is so easily done in America.  It isn't hidden.  India is a reality beyond any imagination.  It is beautiful, sacred, and suffering.  It is when one witnesses the everyday human, animal, and earth suffering that we realize America is nothing but a dream.  It is a refuge from what the world is facing.  Yes we struggle there too, but not in ways even comparable to the living beings here and in so many other parts of the world.  How does an American come back home to a fantasy?

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