There is Joy Wherever You Go

Blink. That is how fast our week in Ahmedabad went yet we made a lifetime of memories each day. Every single day was packed with talks, walks, deep messages, jumping in and out of cars, eating, and laughing. And throughout all of this we were together as a group. Almost each experience that I had in Ahmedabad was laced with happiness and I couldn’t help but associate it with being together. Whenever we were together as a group, which was every day, we were being silly and laughing at the smallest of things. As I would look out of my balcony at ESI, I would see plastered below me the phrase “the joy of togetherness.” It was a phrase that was repeated throughout the entire week and I couldn’t help but believe that it encompassed all the work we did in Ahmedabad. When all ten of us were together and laughing is when I truly experienced the “joy of togetherness.” But now, after a week of embarking on our next adventure in this trip, I find that we have been divided a lot. We had to split up into many groups to work efficiently with the Akanksha students. And I find myself sharing a lot of laughs with my group but not with everyone. We all have meaningful work that we are doing and I can still feel the love and happiness, but I miss being together. And so, as we sit down at dinner every night for dinner, I relish the laughs we share and the silly things we say because I enjoy being together with everyone. Their company brings me joy. And now, every night as I sit down at a crowded table in the Hyatt restaurant I look around and I smile. That is because I have found this group of people that brings me joy and I am so thankful for each one of them. But also, I realized something important yesterday after climbing the mountain. (I know that sounds super deep). No matter where you go, where you are, or who you are with, you can always relish in the joy of togetherness. But it is hard to commit to it. Society has trained us to stare at each other’s differences and to treat them as a wall or barrier. I think we shouldn’t think of them as walls but rather as stones. Yes, we know they are there, but they are small. They don’t amount to much on their own but when we are together and embrace them you could build a monument. And as I climbed up this mountain with a group of students that I met only a week ago, I rejoiced in the joy of togetherness. They treated our differences like pebbles and were simply happy by being together. They didn’t need any backstory or lifetime of memories to feel connected to us. Now, I have seen both ends of the spectrum. You can connect with people through experience or whatever else but you can also just simply live with one another. Accept one another. Be together and acknowledge the togetherness. Commit to the joy of togetherness.