By Alice Johnson

What is change? When we think of change we automatically resort to our visual sense when, in reality, change can be demonstrated in many different ways. On the flight to the Andaman Islands from Delhi, I slept the whole time, so thinking about change was nothing my mind was pondering. Stepping off the plane, I felt like I was in a new world. Delhi is one of the most populated places in the world, so getting off the plane and not being completely overwhelmed by smells, crowds, and noises was the major change I noticed. 

Although this physical change seems so drastic and stand outs compared to all others, it was the spiritual change in me that slapped me in the face. Through this change I realized how little material things mattered to me anymore. 
It takes a special view to be able to sift through your observations and look with your mind instead of your eyes. I found myself constantly distracted in Delhi with everything going on; I just wanted to watch, not think, but what would that do for me? It definitely wouldn’t help me change, and I want to. I want to continue to give up my prior obsession with materialistic objects. I feel that quickly vanishing. 

Upon traveling around the Andaman Islands, I see example after example of people living in the moment and not thinking about what they don’t have or what they could have. When we went to a the resort worker Tapa’s house to talk to his mother, I was amazed to see how CCS students acted throughout the conversation, and then how the wife and daughter who weren’t involved acted. The common denominator was curiosity, but how it was enacted was very different. Tapa’s wife and daughter listened and just observed the group, while the CCS students asked tons of questions and took pictures, which was the reason we were there. I just really took a second to think how the wife and daughter did not have to be there, but they chose to. It is so refreshing to see real curiosity when it is not required. This is another kind of mental change that I crave to have: living in the moment. It is much easier said than done. If I could grasp that idea of living purely in the moment, my goal on the trip will be competed. 

Going back to the materialistic idea, Ms. Sinnenberg recited a great quote, ‘you can never get enough of what you don’t really want’ and before you continue reading, just think about what this means… the question Ms. Sinnenberg followed this quote with was ‘in your heart of hearts, do you really want that Ipad?’ The idea of being obsessed with material goods is truly sad. Why do we always consider people less fortunate if they don’t have what we desire or have? 

I feel as though I have been changed by India, or at least I did until Evan Pausic made a wonderful point about how a place can encourage change, but the change was in you all along.  

6 responses to “Change ”

  1. Jeanne Avatar

    These blogs are why I wanted Samuel to go to Christchurch. To develop such a sense of awareness of the world and its needs. Additionally, it lovely to see the students seem to have developed even more of an emotional and spiritual awareness. And its a wonderful reminder about worrying about money and material things too much. The truest form of faith.

  2. Art DeMario Avatar
    Art DeMario

    Another excellent observation you and the other students have made.
    Imagine what the mother & daughter we’re thinking/feeling seeing so many young people from a foreign place taking interest, asking so many questions and taking pictures of a life they only know as normal. How strange it must be to have people suddenly so interested in what you do… to the point of taking pictures. You have most probably sparked the wonder and curiosity of the Indian people as much as they have done to you. Very interesting.

  3. Dave's Mom Avatar
    Dave’s Mom

    Alice – “Seeing with your mind instead of your eyes” – outstanding concept. Sounds like you have done some real soul searching and will see the world differently from now on. Lucky you!

  4. SSchmidt Avatar

    Alice–Thank you for sharing your wonderful observations and thoughts on how your journey in India has inspired you to seek change, something that doesn’t always come easily. I agree with you, the ability to live in the moment is worth seeking and it would be a gift to achieve that ability.

  5. jbyersccs Avatar

    Alice, I am so glad that India is getting you thinking about life and possessions. It’s complicated, but you are using your good mind to figure it all out.

  6. ajohnson24 Avatar


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