Monday, November 15, 2010

A Proxy for Growth

[Written in April 2010, just prior to leaving India]

Looking back at this last year spent in India, it often seems like I haven’t grown at all. I had the time to do anything I wanted.

As a small consolation, I did attempt to answer one question:
Who am I if all the usual parameters that define me were taken away– things like my job, my home and my home town?

In my reading, I came across a phrase that I liked – "loosed of all moorings" and I jotted it down. So who are we when we are loosed of all moorings?

In my case, I chose to visit India and spend time in different cities to learn the answers. In ways that I couldn’t have anticipated, this past year has been a time of renewal, of stock-taking.

Most of the changes that occurred have happened inside my head, in my thinking. At one point or another, everything seems to have changed, at least a little. My idea of what work should be like, the reasons for working at all, of who is family and of who my friends are, of where my home is when I don't have a "base" anywhere to return to, of where my roots are (is it geography or the ideas that I align with?), and of my constantly evolving ideas on volunteering and service to community.

One thing has been common in all of this -- I have had to re-evaluate all of these beliefs. First, I had to admit to myself that my thinking was full of stereotypes, and then to try to work my way past these stereotypes and "borrowed values" that I have been carrying around for years.

Perhaps that is growth.

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