As Americans, it is easy for us to forget about the many people who are suffering. We sometimes get annoyed when we realize that the WiFi in our house isn't working or the coffee that we just ordered at Starbucks wasn't sweet enough. As many of you know, these are our "First World Problems". For me at the very least this trip has been a most humbling experience. My parents would always tell me stories of how hard life was back in India when they were kids, sometimes not having electricity all the time, never having a personal laptop to do homework on, actually having to walk to/from school (in the rain, without an umbrella, while carrying 15 books, and uphill both ways). As for me I had a bus all throughout high school and even a car since my senior year, but neither of my parents ever had a car, much less a scooter while they were in India. There are millions upon millions of people in India who struggle each an every day, yet the entire time I was walking through the streets not once did I ever see anyone crying, giving up, or even complaining. It may sometimes be a fight for survival here, but even the poorest of people are sure as hell going to fight to live the best possible life they can.
I have to admire the tenacity of even the very annoying street vendors who would constantly hound us trying to sell us stupid post cards or stamps. If I was a street vendor I would have given up a long time ago; however, many of these kids would follow us for entire days just on the off chance that we would get annoyed and buy something. You truly don't understand the beauty of the word free until you come to a place like India and experience not just the culture, but also the people because the only thing you can get free in India is the air you breathe and the bonds that you make with the people here.
Sure the streets may be a little dirty and sometimes the people come on as a little rude, but that is how it is to we who are sheltered in our First World Countries. If one ever wants to truly understand the world, you'll never find your answers in a book or from someone who has been places, you must first venture out into the world and see for yourself. For me this trip was my first few steps, not just in gainging a better understanding of my culture, but to truly understand what the world is like. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything and I implore anyone reading this blog, or any of our blogs, to go out and explore the rest of the world because there is so much to see and learn.