Today I Saw The Power of Joy
We visited our state of Uttarakhand’s largest slum, Mayakund, to do a free medical camp including dental care and de-worming, after which we fed the children lunch. There is, of course, so much more to be done which we are now in discussions about, primarily in terms of making sure the children are all in school, even if that means buying a bus and bringing them to one of our schools, or building a new school closer to them!
But what impacted me so deeply was when I was taken so lovingly into some of their homes (next video coming soon…) where with such joy and pride they showed off their tented shack, they showed the floor they slept on, the corner of the shack where their meals are cooked, the strings from which their clothes hang… Being with these children who bubbled with exhuberance was such a powerful reminder, such a powerful demonstration of the fact that our joy, our peace, our satisfaction in life does NOT come from what we have, or where we live, or what we wear but rather about how we THINK about our lives. That joy and peace in life comes from how grateful we are for what we have, regardless of how much or little it may be. I couldn’t help think of all the people I know who have SO much and yet never feel full, never feel enough, never feel content.
Today we celebrate Human Rights Day and the 71st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We must remember that we not only have rights but we also have responsibilities to ensure that others have rights — rights to education, to health care, to food, to clean water, to sanitation and hygiene.
And if you need a pick me up, just look at the smiles on these kids’ faces and ask yourself what you have to be grateful for!