Fours days after a sweet friend passed away from the devastation of cancer, and three days after 17 teenagers were gunned down inside their classrooms in Florida, I went to a reflective presentation and watched a film called, From India With Love.
This documentary film follows victims of violence from across America, on an epic journey to India. I learned that Dr. Martin Luther King traveled to India in 1959, the year of my birth, to deepen his understanding of Mahatma Gandhi’s principals of non-violence. King told a group of reporters at the airport, “To other countries, I may go as a tourist, but to India, I come as a pilgrim.” The memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King (January 30 – April 4) serve as The Season for Nonviolence for the Association For Global New Thought, and with this in mind, the organizer was able to host this film in Dallas.
Since accepting my new teaching position at The American International School of Chennai, India, I’ve immersed myself in India, via my living room. Scores of books lay tossed around my already barren apartment. Before I sold my TV last weekend, I’d been watching documentaries and Bollywood movies about my new-to-be home. I knew very little about Turkey before moving there in 2013 and I know so very little about this dynamic, culturally rich subcontinent of India. In my interview, when asked, “Why India?” I responded that India was one of the few places that I thought could compete with Turkey in my heart. Like Turkey, India has a deep history and promises to challenge me with an immense cultural gap. But you see, I like that.
Like Dr. King, I’m preparing to be a pilgrim. I’m preparing to question everything I’ve ever learned. I’m preparing for change. Yes, there’s times I’m afraid of such a big transition, but more times that I’m excited and yearning. As my young, 42 year old friend, Joy, was laid to rest, I was again reminded of how deeply grateful I am for the life I’ve been given. How blessed I am to be able to travel the world and be a partner in educating children for the future. I am convinced there is nothing more honoring than this. India, here I come.
How will you explore non violence this week?
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