Things I Learned in India – What is Overrated and What is NOT
There are So Many Wonderful Lessons I Have Learned in India
India is my favorite place in the whole world, for many reasons. The colorful culture, the deep spirituality woven into the entire society, and of course the FOOD!
But out of everything I learned in India, the most important lessons all come back to the beautiful basics every time I go!
There are Just Some Things in Life That are Overrated, and Some That are NOT!
Things That ARE Overrated:
Silverware – There is something very fulfilling about sitting down on the ground and eating with your hands! I feel more connected to my food and even enjoy it more.
Air Conditioning – I have to admit, I am always amazed by how quickly I adapt to the high heat and humidity. It made me realize the body is NOT meant to go in and out of different climates on a daily basis. In fact, I had adjusted to the tropical climate so much, when I boarded the plane to leave India, the air conditioning made me so cold, I had to put on a jacket!
Toilet Paper – I never thought I would say this, but I have now deemed toilet paper completely unnecessary! I felt significantly cleaner using the Indian method of trickling water. So fresh and so clean! ?
Sweets – So it turns out, if you go without sugar long enough (and make sure the rest of your diet is well balanced), you really do stop craving it! I was staying at an Ashram (monastery) last time I was there, so the meals were very simple. But the simple food was easy to digest and always left me completely satisfied. Take that, sugar cravings!
Things That ARE NOT Overrated:
Personal Space – India would be quite the challenge for someone who is very claustrophobic! Now I am NOT claustrophobic, but I came close to a panic attack more than once from the dense crowds of people always pressed up against me. Plus the amount of pushing and shoving that is considered normal there is overwhelming, to say the least!
Simplicity – The simplicity of life I have witnessed in India was beautiful beyond explanation. Although I tend to avoid the biggest cities there where I know life is much more chaotic, most of the people I met seemed so much more carefree.
Electrolytes – Staying properly hydrated was quite the chore for me. There is not much else to say on this subject. If you are going to India, be sure to have sufficient electrolytes. My ankles looked like sausages for the first month I was there. Not fun.
Physical Affection – This was the only thing I ever felt truly starved for the entire time I was there. Even though people were always making physical contact with me in some way, physical affection was severely lacking! Hugging is not customary, and at the Ashram, the men and women were not allowed to touch at all. I found myself sometimes reaching out to touch people without even realizing it!
Using What I Have Learned in India in the Rest of My Life
In conclusion, I am not saying I go to great lengths when I return to the United States, to avoid silverware or air conditioning. But it is very nice to have been made aware that all these luxuries that so many take for granted are not actually necessary!
Quality of life has nothing to do with what we have; it is about what these things mean to us.