By Zoe Harding
We currently reside in a place that has existed for five hundred years. The people have sculpted the steep mountainside into a small village and hundreds of terraces of farmland. They have taken the wildness of the young Himalayas and made it their own. Agora is just one of the many villages that has tamed the mountain side to be their own. Having only been to Agora and a bit of Rishikesh on the side of the Ganges, what I have experienced may not be true for the hundreds of other villages. However, I have found that in these places I have experienced something that I never have before.
I have never been a particularly spiritual person. Even at a young age, religion did not make sense to me. After being told that what I read in storybooks was not real, but a higher being was, I came to only put my faith in scientific facts. There has been a change happening in me for a while now, and there is something about this place that has made that clear to me. There are things in this world that cannot be explained by scientific facts. The very village of Agora seems to defy gravity and logic. Science cannot explain how these people are connected to each other and the mountains. The open, accepting nature of the people here would be out of place in the western world where most people keep to themselves. I hope that everyone can experience a place like this at some point in their lives, to connect with people who seem to have nothing in common with you, and through that learn that you do in fact have something in common. We are all people who live and breath and feel.
I know that my spiritual beliefs will continue to change the more I experience. However, at this point in my life I can confidently say that I believe in the connections of people and the power of the natural world to inspire change. I challenge all those who read this is to continuously push your boundaries. Never stop questioning yourself or what you believe. Stopping means that you think that you are right, and in a world as crazy and wild as this one you can never be right. Stopping also means that you have stopped living. Living is experiencing, learning, and changing. However old you are or how far you have traveled, never accept that you are right. Never stop living.