Scared, excited, tired.
I’ve been given the most amazing opportunity to come to India to experience the culture and attend a summit about community development and leadership at the Modern School in New Dehli.
After a 9 hour turbulence filled flight, we arrived in the steamy but beautiful airport.
My first impressions was that this trip was going to be extremely informative and interesting. The school itself was huge covering hundreds of acres with a pool, fields, golf courses and horses.
From this trip, not only do I hope to make new friend but I hope that the trip motivates me even more to become a better leader and develop communities on a global scale!
ICE BREAKING SESSIONS
We woke up bright and early ready for the ice breaking sessions and the thing we were most scared about was whether or not we were going to make friends, have conversation or connect with people easily. But as soon as we got out on to the field – not only was it easy but it was so much.
For us, I think it showed how small fears can stop from having a wonderful time. Without making the friends I did during this session, I wouldn’t have learned or developed as much from the trip.
CONFORMING TO TRADITIONAL IDEAL AND VALUES
We were each asked as a school, to produce an essay or poem revolving around a particular subject and this is the subject I chose. This is because of its relevance in the political stratosphere today and the huge impact it is having on the leaders that are being created currently.
Here is the essay, that was actually eventually published in the CDLS brochure 2105;
“As we let our own light shine we unconsciously give others permission to do the same” – Nelson Mandela
Conservatism and identity are the two juxtaposing theories that came to mind when I chose this topic. I believe that by conforming to traditional ideas and values, it could be suggested that we are limiting the progress and the development potential that a community could have. But it could also be suggested that in some ways were are also liberating ourselves while remembering the importance of our different cultures in the present and future.
Traditional ideas are mostly stigmatised as being conservative and thus this suggests that those who conform to them, have a fixed mindset and dislike the idea of change and development. This will have an increasingly negative impact on the leaders and the communities that stem from these kinds of ideas. A great and imminent example of this is Stalin. He was a man who followed the system of Russification and Stalinisation where he believed that everyone who lived in Russia should; speak the same language and embrace the culture entirely. It proved to be destructive and prevented Russia from progressing socially, academically and technologically. These boundaries prevent people from exploring their own ideas, finding themselves and discovering new things. And without the ideas, modernisation is impossible!
However on the opposite end of the spectrum is the idea that by conforming to traditional values, but not allowing it to prevent you from being pragmatic, creates a situation where you can express and appreciate your identity while developing new skills. This is the ideal situation, as it allows the individual to really connect with their inner thought and feelings while also allowing them to expand their horizons as leaders of the future. The traditional values provide them with a provisional basis of morals and theologies but also promotes the nurturing of confidence and self worth.
Nelson Mandela’s quote expresses the importance of the individual mind and the rippling impact that something as simple as a person’s ability to express themselves, can be. If you chose to stand out and make a change in the world, although the first steps maybe hard, as other become inspired by your actions, your dream of change will slowly develop into a reality.
I believe that traditional values are required to form the leaders of tomorrow. People like Martin Luther King Jr based their ideas and want for change on their traditional ideals and his actions had an immense impact on our world and changed it for the better. We should aspire to be like this. We should be able to see a problem and not be able to sleep until we’ve found a way to fix it. The world needs leaders whose primary aims are to create better, sustainable communities. Only when these leaders have been nurtured and encouraged will the world begin to become equal and free.
THE TAJ MAHAL
TRIP TO OZANAM
This was community service aspect of the trip and as I was told to give a speech at the valedictory event, I decided to base it around this event.
This is the speech I gave which also encompasses the ideals and things I’ve learnt from the trip:
Empathy, confidence and motivation!
These are the 3 things I learnt from this trip.
Empathy in being able to understand and care about others.
Confidence in being able to work towards achieving our global goals.
And lastly but by no means least – motivation to relentlessly and effectively strive towards making the world a better place.
CDLS was a phenomenal experience. It provided the delegates with an opportunity to learn, develop and master the idea of integrated intelligence and also allowed us to make rare friends and lasting connections. There are many amazing memories that I shared with most of you that will stay with me forever; one being the beautiful taj, however today I think I’m going to share one of the experience that really struck a chord with me.
Ozonam – this was the name of the elderly home we visited and was by far one of the most intriguing and rewarding of experiences.
We met a man who told us of his past and how he used to write children’s books and we were blessed enough to be able to hear one of them.
Today I will be sharing a brief summary of it with you, so that you may also grasp the life lessons and guides that are depicted in the story.
There were once 2 friends who were in a forest. They soon found that a wild animal was chasing them. One of the friends quickly ran up the tree without a second thought and the other friend laid down on the grass and pretended to be dead. When the animal caught up to them, it whispered something in the ear of the friend that was on the floor and then went away.
When the friend came down; he asked what did the animal say to you and the advice that the animal gave is definitely something that we can implement in our daily lives.
The animal had said;
“Your friend left you in a time of need and didn’t think twice – choose you friends more wisely!”
Put your hands up if you made a new friend at this conference – it doesn’t even have to be a really good friend, but if you were able to connect with someone, have a conversation, smile or laugh with someone – please up your hand up.
Look around at those with their hands up, these are you friends! And they represent the different counties that we may be leaving lying on the floor. We are climbing up the tree of development and advancements in all aspects of society and allowing those who are not able to climb to fall prey to the clutches of disease, poverty, hunger and illiteracy. Community development and effective leadership is not possible without a stable foundation of people who are empathetic, confident and motivated.
We need to use the friends and skills that we’ve acquired through CDLS to work towards achieving world peace. CDLS has given us the perfect platform for working towards this and I know that my school – townley grammar is honoured to be a part of it and looks forward to many more exciting summits in India and this lasting two way relationship with modern school.
As we all sit here today on the evening of the 29th November 2015 let this be a day to remember.
Let this be a day where we finally understand that we have a duty to protect and preserve humanity.
Let this be a day where we finally get up and do something physical to exact a change
And let this be a day that history remembers as the 1st day where may amazing young people furthered their journey as influential leaders and sat together and planned how to change the world.
On the behalf of the townley grammar uk delegates, Thank you for everything especially our amazing host families and although we will miss India, we strongly have faith in the fact that we will meet again.