Stephanie Beard, IEP/MPA ’19

South Asian Peacebuilding Program, Gujarat

In summation of my travels:
While in India, I took no souvenirs but pictures, and left nothing behind but memories in the minds of those who had met me. I went to India to learn about peace and violence. Instead, what I learned was far more valuable. These are some of the things that I learned:

-conflict is not made of the same dichotomies that we use to describe it in text books.

-resolution is a word with a definition on paper and that’s about it.

-idols are humans.

-enemies are human too.

-neither idols nor enemies are worth having.

-rules, like religion and science, are only viable if people believe in them.

-I learned what it feels like to be made to feel truly small; I also learned what it feels like to feel truly big.

–stability is an illusion.

-the path I’ve chosen is. And it’s the only one I feel is my duty to take.

-ego, like baggage at the airport, must be checked.

-appreciate the blueness of the sky

-never take a drop of water for granted.

-health is not a right, but a privilege.

“The children of this Hindu slum in Ahmedabad were very excited that we came to visit.”

Click here to read Stephanie’s self-evaluation on her work in Gujarat

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