We live in our own little worlds, where everything we want is but one click away. Good clothes, good food, good friends. Anything we need, we have before we can even process what has happened around us. We lead lives of extreme comfort, and it’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful world.

And then one day you’ll step out of this world of comfort, just as I did. You’ll step into a world where electricity is scarce, and face-painting for a play means having to wash your hands and face after with ice cold water that you pump yourself. A world where concrete doesn’t dominate every inch of land, a world where you have to fend for yourself and make do with what you have available to you.

It seems strange, but it is here that you’ll understand the importance of shy giggles and timid hellos, the importance of long walks over car rides, of nature over phone screens.

Sometimes all it takes is a few children in government schools, all it takes is their laughter and happiness to teach you that the world that exists outside your comfort zone is where you can find immense and unadulterated happiness.

It takes their laughter and happiness to teach you that thinking about others is what truly makes it a wonderful world.

Written by Ananya Saluja

I’m your average eighteen-year old girl from New Delhi studying in the 12th grade at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari. I have volunteered during my last three summer vacations in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, teaching children in the schools of remote villages through the 17000 ft Foundation. It was the most life changing experience, and the childrens’ amazing reactions and responses made even the occasional accompanying altitude sickness worth it.

18 comments

  1. So very true! It is stepping beyond our day-to-day lives where we can find greater happiness. I know I need to make the time to step out of my comfortable life to experience the joy of being with these kids! 🙂

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  2. Nice reflections! It is only when we step out of our comfort zone that we get to know the realities of the world! It is heartening to note that youngsters are sensitive to the needs of such children who find happiness despite all the odds.

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  3. Your observation is so true and precious! My daughter’s friend went to Tanzania, Africa for one year of Peace Corp. He had to ride his bicycle for one hour, once a week to get internet to make connection to his family and friends. It was a good experience for him going from a land of plenty.

      1. Yes, it’s good experience for young and old. A couple of our friends were assigned to work in Hong Kong for several years. We went to visit them. They said after living there, when they come back to US, they would never want to big home! Looking at how people live in another country is an eye opener!

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  4. Oh this is amazing Ananya,you are getting an opportunity to serve them.It might have been an amazing as well as adventurous experience for you.I am also waiting for the day when I can reach out and help others…Thanks for sharing..And yes here the situations are worse,you visit a government school here,children in high school cannot even read.I am doing my best to help such children.however it really hurts to see the system of education here and the teachers getting high salary for no work…Sorry if I ran out of the topic..

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