Finding Abundance within
Two good friends Bhumit and Nikita teaching at a local University in Vadodara asked us to interact with students of first year business administration for an orientation to their one month service internship.
I was a little nervous!
We got a little brief about the students saying, “they come from a privileged background and not sure how would they respond to service project. So don’t worry!
And I got a little more nervous ☺
We shared few stories on small acts, videos of local heroes and their practice of kindness. And then came the time for some hands activity/random acts of kindness which turned out to be a heart activity. We checked with the students if they would experiment with some ideas right now. Few of them had a smile, few had a little resistance and confusion but soon we saw the room getting pumped up. We offered smile cards thinking it would give them few ideas to work upon but interestingly they quickly self-organized into small groups and started thinking of ideas of their own. In a few minutes a class of 100 students was all around the campus and we could see the magic happening. In about half an hour we reconvened in the room and the whole energy of the class shifted. We could see the wall of resistance and line of confusion was replaced with smile, joy and a sense of satisfaction. They were super excited to share what happened and hereby I am sharing few of the stories.
One group went to the security guards and shared how thankful they were for their services; whole day they are out in the sun taking care of the students, campus and vehicles and how at times we as students don’t even listen to what they are saying. Today they shared their gratitude, hugged them, offered nimbupani which moved the security guards in tears. One of the guards shared that, “Aj ke zamane mein aisa kaun karta hai” (In today’s time who does such an act)
Darshana, another student shared how a day before she was just about to throw a bottle of water in a bin and thought to offer it to someone who was thirsty. She shared that what she offered wasn’t much or something big but it gave her a sense of satisfaction. More than giving she felt as if she was receiving. Its what Nipun Bhai says, “in giving is that we receive”.
Few girls just went down to the kitchen area and started cleaning the dishes and the whole kitchen staff was amazed. Later I even happened to meet one of the kitchen staff and she shared that we all had smiles and lot of fun together. Another group of boys went to the nearby construction site and told few of them to rest under the tree and started filling up sand in the one-wheeler and carried it.
There were anonymous letters passed to classmates with tagging of chocolates to the teaching faculty, hugs to friends and some acts which made others laugh.
After hearing to the heartfelt sharing by the students we were moved as on one hand we were told that there were students here who haven’t traveled by bus or rickshaw and on the other hand when we saw them cleaning dishes and helping the construction workers. Even the dean was pleasantly surprised by the shift in the attitude of the students and view of a positive side of their strengths and capabilities. An insight as a facilitator that emerged was that it does not matter if someone is rich or poor there is always a space inside full of abundance within each one of us. The seeds of doing good may be dormant but with little light one can reach out to millions. Some students even approached me and shared that they wanted to do an internship with service space. So friends are we ready to take on 35 interns for 6 weeks to shed more light on Service and stillness? I left the auditorium extremely satisfied and grateful to all the people in the ecosystem whose personal practices, sharing and stories keep rippling out to create a beautiful world. Thank you!