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The More They Give

"Happiness comes with inner peace, not material goods."

Hi, I am Lydia Carolin, an International student of Social Work at a university in India. Taking Social Work as my subject required me to deal with people who have social problems, and in the third year, we are advised to start joining and making an impact in NGOs in order to complete the report that must be submitted before the exam. Well, as you read earlier, I am an international student came from Indonesia; obviously, fear and anxiety arise because apart from I am a foreigner here in India, I also do not have any experience in this field and am confused about which organization I should join, as we know that there are lots of NGOs in India along with their respective concerns.

In the midst of this pressure and confusion, I finally decided to join an NGO that focuses on street children, is Rag Dreams Weavers Association. After applying and accepting, another fear arose due to this organization working with street children; a million questions filled my head, "Can I get along with them?, Aren't they accept me?, What if they are uncomfortable with me because I am a foreigner?" And other questions.

Unfortunately, I am the one who hasn't spent much time with children except with my younger siblings, I thought playing with children was not that fun because some of them are annoying, but after going through this, I realized that I was a kinda wrong assess them. Many street children joined this organization with various backgrounds, behaviors, etc. I learned that children could not be seen from one lens as being annoying or naughty because they are unique and diverse. And yeah, finally, the word "annoying" here doesn't seem right because I believe that they are not annoying they just need more attention, guidance, affection, and love. In fact, they are even really welcome and warm, they accept me, they like me, and they want to play with me, and I'm really grateful for that.

Hold on, before continuing to read this, I humbly request you to kindly re-read the first paragraph. In the first paragraph, I wrote something related. Okay, here we go; being here for the first time makes me wonder about the relevance of one of the sentences, "We won't be happy if we are not grateful" then my questions are, "Is this sentence still relevant in these children?", Are they grateful for, when they have nothing? What should they be grateful for when life hits them hard? Should they be thankful when the world feels so cruel? Should they be grateful when they do not have anyone?. And at the end of the day, again and again, I made a wrong assumption. In fact, they are amazing creatures who are grateful for whatever they have, for the completeness of their limbs, for the age they still have, and for the formation of this organization to which they belong. Seeing that the things that we think are nothing special are what they have been grateful for all this time. They are great children who may often complain about the harshness of life, the fate that is not in accordance with what they want, for their limitations, but they still choose to live, struggle and be grateful.

On one occasion, a friend asked me, "Lydia, what did you teach them?". Immediately I replied, "Not that much, they teach me more, I take more lessons from them." To be honest, my answer is quite true, instead of me teaching them, they teach me more, I learn how to be grateful for limitations, learn how to smile sincerely when the world feels so cruel, learn to face and not run away from a harsh and cruel world, learn not to waste every opportunity, etc. In the end, I can only say thank you for the valuable lessons I took from them and thanks to Rag Dreams' Weavers for the great opportunity so I could get to know and mingle with these great children.

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