“Ease destroys bravery, trouble…creates strength.” – Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed
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Village life is more complex than what merely meets the eye. At first glance, there’s a small community of people that have spent their entire lives together in close-knit relationships. But look deeper, and you’ll see an amazing array of stories, families, and values that would take an outsider years to unravel and understand.
I traveled to India for school in 2009 to understand what life was like in Southern Asia. While I traveled to several villages, I still saw diversity among the villagers: A happy elderly man who looked a lot like Gandhi. Children unable to hold back their laughter while they played. A young woman who was excited at the opportunity to learn to read.
But I also went to two homes in one village where sick children were lying on the floor. Not on a bed, but just on a blanket on the floor. The doctors spoke to the mothers who were gripped with sadness. The reality of a sick child can sometimes be too much grief for parents to bear.
It’s too much of a whirlwind, the happiness and sadness of a small and tightly-knit community. I wanted to spend more time understanding and putting together pieces of the puzzle. There’s nothing “simple” about village life. It’s complex and has layers/stories of hope, fear, and love.
Village life, just like any city, reflects the diversity of the human experience.