by Ankur Bora PM5
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. Love unites us. To love ourselves and others without conditions is the true natural state of humanity. Without love, we are separated by our judgments, preconceived notions, and personal preferences. With it, we are magnificent.
Twelve years ago, I visited a school in India and met a young American, Dhaujee Kelly. Her story of love and compassion resonates with me even today.
Kelly was a student intern who travelled from Baltimore to teach English to students in India. When I spoke with her, I was surprised to learn that she had no prior experience with the people, the local culture, or the language.
With a smile, she told me how she made her classroom lively through artwork. “The other day we made masquerade type masks with feathers and glitter. They had never seen masks like that before! As I showed them ways in which they could make the masks, they were in awe. They were ecstatic to make a mask of their own.”
I realized she was able to win the hearts and minds of the students and local people through her creative work. Kelly was living in a makeshift accommodation with unreliable running water or electricity. Yet she made the most of it. When there was no electricity at night, she would go outside under the starlit sky and play popular English songs on her guitar. She called the days without running water “bucket mornings.” She marched with the children and a bucket to fetch water from the nearby well.
Kelly stayed at the school for three months. She filled everyone with love. When she departed, the children were inconsolable. I recently honored Dhaugee Kelly in my Toastmasters speech about a nineteen-year-old who broke the barriers of language, culture, and geography—that typically divide us—and who brought so much joy to children.
The good we do lives on forever. In other people. In other places. In other times. The good we do is never lost. The rhythm of life never dies.
It took me twelve years, but the presentation on Kelly has given me meaning, purpose, and a deep sense of fulfillment. Friends, let’s write, speak, and deliver inspiring stories. In doing so, we help every individual find the rhythm of life.