As a Western woman traveler, what was the greatest gift bestowed upon me in Asia and South America?
I became no longer insulated from the extensive poverty in the world. When a problem is right in front of your eyes, and if you are a compassionate person, your mind inevitably goes to how you can be part of the solution. It grew me.
We are not born here to just live a certain formula of life. Every society has a unique one, but rest assured, traveling has also shown me that we are all programmed from birth to live a certain way.
Part of our soul learning is to question the pat formulas, the way “it has always been done”, to break out of mental boxes and find new ways of thinking and living that are not only fulfilling to ourselves, but also uplifting to our fellow man.
When I lived in Asia, I met and befriended a young Thai woman, a waitress named Poom. She had a decent job and it is the custom for young people to work hard and send money back home to their very poor families. She was living her life out quietly, bound by her commitments, working long hours and seemingly with no prospects of ever doing better.
I soon came to realize that her greatest obstacle was not her limited education or her physical circumstances. It was her mind, which was taught to believe in limitations. It was stuck and unable to conjure any thoughts of other possibilities.
The great awakening in humanity right now is in both mind and heart, to see and make manifest the infinite possibilities rather than the limitations. Our societies, governments, and mass media are very good at reinforcing the limitations. That is our greatest mental challenge and where we must start, to filter out and see past that programming.
And this is our soul’s hunger… To grow and become more, to feel like our being here for awhile means something, that we are a positive force and we have the personal power to manifest good change.