By: Jeff Elkin

Today, we get to wake up at 4AM to get on the train and look at roughly 1 hour of city, 4 1/2 hours of farm/factory towns, and 30 minutes of uninterrupted forest. After that, we got to drive up the winding steep roads up to Mussoorie. I wasn’t expecting to have so much down time, but it left me plenty of time to reflect on the trip so far.

Thinking back on what I’ve seen, I noticed that even with everything new that I’ve learned and experienced, I still have no real understanding of India. So many things remain a mystery to me. Yet, I don’t feel frustrated by that; instead, I want to understand and just experience more and more. For example, much of the way these people act and the things they do may seem primitive to some of us, but I think their mindset is far more advanced. In a conversation with Praveen, I learned that people do not struggle with depression and anxiety issues in the same way that they do in the United States.The problems they have here seem very real and life altering compared to some of the ones we have.

Just that idea of how I will never fully understand this place makes me want to continue learning and experiencing the depth of the culture and traditions here. The foreignness of this experience is simply enough to make me want to explore more.

4 responses to “Worth wanting more”

  1. Jefferson's mom Avatar
    Jefferson’s mom

    I like the idea that, “The foreignness of this experience is simply enough to make me want to explore more.” Sounds like a great way to live. I’m glad there’s plenty of down time to process all that you’ve experienced.

    You’ve also observed that although the day-to-day existence in India is harsher than ours, the population doesn’t appear to experience the “angst” of people who live in more developed countries. So, If an individual is too busy worrying about where to find the next meal, he/she won’t have the spare time to worry about the stuff that gives us angst in the United States, like our social status, our “look,” or if we’re driving a cool enough vehicle. It must be adaptive to worry and we’re pre-wired for it.

  2. nkeesee Avatar

    As Socrates said, knowing that you do not know is wisdom . . .

  3. Dave's Mom Avatar
    Dave’s Mom

    Jeff – your depiction and thoughts on the human experience on a different level are inspiring. You will always have this experience in India to reflect upon, and it will help you put your trials and tribulations in perspective throughout your life. Drink it all in!

  4. jbyersccs Avatar

    I wonder if the life of surviving and doing leaves no time for worry and depression or it is the religiosity and belief in deities and mythologies that says “don’t worry about worrying because it’s not in your hands”. Keep thinking Jeff, good post!

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