I am waiting for my flight home after two weeks in India. I was able to spend several days out at Chandrakal, time at the Golconda Community Center and a morning strategizing with a group of professionals who are committed to the success of all that happens at Home of Hope.As I often do after time in this dusty, mysterious place, I find myself asking familiar questions, agonizing over the realities of a world where equity is an aspiration not yet realized.
My time is spent too quickly. I go from inside the old walled city of Golconda watching an amazing group of women who discovered their worth with a single act of bravery – speaking up – creating beautiful pieces by their own hand. I spot a group of HIV-positive orphans enjoy a break between English and math class, laughing as they compete for the title “funniest face.” I witness horror unfold as a young man just across the street lay under the sheltering arms of a banyan tree as the virus quietly steals his life away.
Life is a profound and passionate journey – a constant toggle between the tragic and the triumphant. Some of us are born in a place of possibility. Most of us are not. What can we make of a world where happenstance is king? In the funny face, a life saved. In the sleeping boy, a life discarded. One given shelter. One forgotten.
Why is beyond human understanding. As a result, we become data miners looking to numbers to explain a complicated world where survival often consumes the day. I struggle with the randomness of loss, sorrow, circumstance and plenty. Frankly, I am not sure there are answers to any of these plaguing questions.
All we can do is start down the difficult path, knowing there will always be categories of win or lose, life or death, hope or despair. This is the human condition. Hope is born of the willingness to move beyond what we cannot do and strive to do what we can.It is not in the great halls where power and privilege prevail that transformation takes place. It is in the one – who beyond any reasonable expectation – deliberately chooses to commit themselves to another.