So one thing that I think everyone, or at least certainly I, have been questioning is our momentary inaction. We have spoken about how after knowledge then action must follow otherwise nothing will be accomplished; so how can I be sitting here in a dance studio typing on an iPad rather than in Dharavi teaching students? How can I sit idly by while a child I saw in Dharavi is living with no decent sanitation or education? Over lunch today I was asked the question: Do you think it's acceptable for us to enjoy our privileges or do things unrelated to community service on a trip focused around those who are not given our same privileges? For example, tonight we are going with some Cathedral students to see a Bollywood movie; is it acceptable to do that rather than spend our time developing ways to help the people in Dharavi? Are we here to meet people and make contacts and friends? Or must we solely focus on the task at hand and ignore other seemingly frivolous activities? This reaches to the core of our program and asks what is the purpose of our trip here?
This blog post may seem contradictory, however that is because it IS. I don't have a clear answer for you, but it can't be a simple yes or no. I don't think that our purpose is an EITHER, OR question. Our program focuses on both sides of Mumbai, giving us a balance that is required for all endeavors. We see both the rich along with the poor, we are presented with views from both teachers and corporations, we have experiences focused on both community service and ones purely for fun. We must have both sides of the spectrum to see the whole picture of Mumbai and to keep ourselves balanced. We must remember the six blind men and the elephant and understand that you need each blind mans' view to get the whole picture; you must involve yourself in each aspect of Mumbai to get a glimpse of the whole culture.