Eleanor Roosevelt once said “Do something every day that scares you”. I would say I’m definitely doing that, just by being here.
What am I afraid of?
Bodily harm. Being robbed. Killed. Gang-raped. Or all of these at once.
Coming down with some multiple drug resistant illness, or something like chikungunya.
And there’s also a lesser fear – more of an underlying wariness really, of being ripped off or overcharged for things.
Other than being careful about when or where I roam, there’s not much I can do about the first things, and aside from being moderately cautious about my health and eating habits, I have equally little control about the next.
As for being overcharged, well, even if I’m overcharged a dollar or two more for something just for being a tourist, in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter? To me, not really. And to someone who is struggling to survive, that charity may make a huge difference.
These fears aren’t something that keep me up at night, and they certainly haven’t stopped me from coming here. Knowing that I have little control over these things helps me to relax to a degree. As a teacher once said “Don’t worry. Everything is perfectly out of control”. Yet I would be lying if I said that the fears didn’t exist.
With each day, and with each time that I do something that brings that fear upwards in my consciousness, the smaller that fear becomes. There is still a great deal of goodness in the world that the media ignores. I have already seen so much kindness and generosity during this’s trip, and have faith that it will continue as I go onward. The media ignores this goodness to a large extent, and we’re encouraged on a daily basis to be afraid. Part of my hope for this trip is to continue whittling away at that fear. I’ll let you know how that goes, if it’s not apparent at the end.
I made it to Jaipur tonight a bit late to do any exploring, but I’ll post more colorful, exciting things next time.