Beautiful Lessons (March 6th)

By Kathryn James

Warm smiles welcomed us into the village.  The gentle hellos and the bright facial expressions made me feel content and relaxed.

Coming from the United States, where I think the little actions aren’t recognized enough, it was refreshing to visit Agora.  I see a culture where one does not look to say “thank you” or “please” because everyone automatically helps everyone when it is needed.  The system does not need formalities.

Today half of the CCS group helped build a roof for a house in Agora village.  Going into the job, I thought we would be the only people helping – I was wrong.  Men and women of all ages gathered at the one house to help the one family.

While men built the roof, the women made chai tea and chapati bread.  This sight amazed me because everyone had gathered to help just one family in need.  No one was there because they had to be, but because they wanted to be.  This was a beautiful sight and not something my eyes are used to.

In the afternoon, I reflected on the selfish vs non-selfish mentalities of Agora.  Seeing the people help in a non-selfish way, in that mentality, showed a character trait that really makes me wonder.  Seeing this beautiful side of the village really makes me wish we had more unselfish lifestyles in the United States.

America seems to impact other countries more than it is impacted.  I do not think it should be this way.  Instead, I now think that America should be the culture looking up to a country like India.  We should adapt to the mentality of kindness and selflessness.

Today’s lessons and experiences in Agora were beautiful.

3 thoughts on “Beautiful Lessons (March 6th)

  1. Some big ideas and humbling realizations in here, Kathryn. I liked reading not only your description of how the roof-building went in Agora, but what you particularly noticed about it and what it meant to you—that is, how it is changing your way of thinking about your relationship, as an American, to the rest of the world. Humility is indeed a good thing to bring along during international travel.


  2. Kathryn – a beautiful observation on your part and the whole idea well written. I think there is a lot of “for the good of others” in America but we surely need more – much more. Bring home this mentality and spread it generously around your community.


  3. “Beautiful” (your word, and it is perfect) and astute observations, Kathryn. I am particularly fascinated by the idea of no “please” and “thank you” because everyone helps everyone. Enjoy the rest of your “lessons and experiences.” THANK YOU for sharing.


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