Reflection #2: July 20, 2014
Traveling to different locations and experiencing their cultures, religions, and general beliefs has always had a profound affect on my own beliefs of how I live my life and what I believe in or subscribe to on a daily basis. It’s interesting to realize the differences that experience warrants you when it comes to formulating your own mantra and the morals or beliefs that you hold yourself to.
There was a point during our second day in Aurangabad when we made it to the temples and I stood there in awe of the perseverance of the people who committed their spiritual lives to building these massive and beautiful works of art. I’ve always envied those who can say that they live with a purpose and they know where they stand in this universe with themselves and in reference to those around them. As Ram spoke of the years that it took to build the temples, I thought how phenomenal it must have been to chisel away at a massive stone with only a vision and passion to drive you.
It’s difficult for me to place all of my passion into one singular thing, or to say that there’s one thing in this world that encompasses my purpose during this lifetime. The men who dedicated their lives to studying their religion and practicing, sacrificing, and ultimately building a monument in the spirit of their beliefs, knew their purpose and that is something that astonishes me.
When I traveled to Israel on my Birthright Retreat, I was so full of passion and drive to continue living, in some form, the Jewish life that I saw around me that it brought me to tears. I loved to see so many people believe in such a beautiful driving force that I wanted to be a part of that. When I stood in front of the massive temple, I felt that again. I felt that yearning for a purpose and a passionate drive to commit all of myself to anything and accomplish something mind-blowing in the process.
In a parallel universe I’d like to have had the opportunity to speak to those men and hear what exactly encouraged each and every one of them to commit themselves. I’m constantly in search of my purpose and what I could commit 100% of myself to but I haven’t found it yet. Did those men just realize one day that religion was their passion? Did it take them 10 or 20 or even 50 years to realize it? What did they sacrifice in the process and how did they justify it? I have so many questions to ask the people who faced those mountains of rock and not only saw but also built temples from them.
I hope that when I leave India, I’ll at least feel as if I’m closer to finding my passion. I hope that I won’t lose the excitement that I feel during our cultural experiences. I want to find my passion and I feel as though traveling is getting me closer and closer to that goal.
Photo Credit: Alex Anfuso