Mother Teresa Shows Us Kolkata

By Garrett Walker

Hello parents and potential fans reading our Carpe Diem Shanti blog. My name is Garrett and I want to do the blog a little differently this week. Instead of the usual linear summary of our past week, I want to give you a summary, but through short little bursts of reflections I’ve had. Hopefully, Avy is a fan of this (Hi Avy!) and it gets posted and if it doesn’t, well, then you’ll never know about this will you?

“It’s quite a humbling feat to feed a human being their entire meal.” A fellow volunteer named Jonny told me, ringing out today’s worth of laundry at the Mother Teresa House at which we were volunteering for the week. This was one of the many revelations fellow volunteers and I were having. I had asked Jonny if he felt like he was making an impact doing this volunteer work; at the time I thought he had deflected my question, but now, reflecting further I’ve come to realize that he gave me not only an answer but a whole perspective that I hadn’t seen before.

I believe Mother Teresa said it best (ironic right), “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” It’s very hard for an individual to change the world. However, to the individual, your help can mean the world, and I learned that’s enough.

It’s funny, I expected India to give me some huge life realization but so far the biggest realization I’ve received is that there’s really no such thing as big, life-changing realizations, and that’s okay because I’ve still learned a few handy things. I’ll include the best. Number one: everyone’s the most interesting person in the world. The people I have meet on this crazy journey, including my fellow travel mates, are some of the nicest and most genuine I’ve met in my life. Numero Dos: it’s never a bad time for pizza (Mom, Dad just know, I’m eating well).

“Hello old friend,” I muttered to myself as the boat carrying the 13 of us glided out over the murky waters of the Sunderban’s. It was our day off, and we were on the lookout for tigers. I’ve always been in love with the ocean and acknowledged my old friend that I hadn’t seen in quite some time. Funny enough, I live in Colorado. Our whole group seemed to fall into a relaxed and reflective mood. I looked from person to person, some with eyes open, others closed. I thought about my time at the Mother Teresa House and what I had learned. Family, I decided, is truly the most important thing in life. Why then, did it take such sad or lonely circumstances and observations to come to this realization? This made me think back to a quote from another kind and genuine person our group had the pleasure of meeting in Jaipur, Rishi-g.

“India may not provide all the answers you seek, but it will definitely provide you with a few more questions.” India has taught me that for every answer I find here, three more questions take its place—and that’s okay. Most of us came here searching for something, but by now we are no longer searching, rather we are just spreading our happiness and our help to others, and that’s enough.