I have had some wonderful discussions with many local people here in Nepal, and each and every one I speak with, has me nodding my head, and saying, “Yes!”
The Nepali people have life all figured out.
Even after the devastation that they have experienced less than a year ago, with the massive earthquake that has left so many people homeless, and having lost loved ones, they are nothing but happy, kindhearted, and genuinely grateful for everything they have.
The streets and traffic are insane, with not a road rule seeming to be in existence, yet we have not seen one person get angry, impatient, or frustrated. Drivers remain calm, and are so patient with one another, that there doesn’t ever seem to be an issue. We spoke with one of the taxi drivers about this, and he explained that while people may be in a rush to get from here to there, so is everyone else, and there’s no point in getting angry at each other. From what we have seen on the roads, the Nepali people just want to get on with their day, but also make sure they are looking out for one another.
The earthquakes in April and May have brought the Nepali people together in so many ways, and through so much sadness and loss, they’ve managed to pull together to help one another rebuild homes, and lend each other a helping hand in any way they can; whether it means financially supporting one another, providing food and blankets, or just being there for each other. From what I have seen and heard from the many stories told by locals, the people of Nepal were already a very kind and supportive people, but now, more than ever, the devastation they experienced as a nation, has just amplified their beautiful nature, and they seem to truly understand the meaning of humanity as a whole.
I truly believe that every person could learn a thing or two from the beautiful people of Nepal. Many of us seem to forget and take for granted some of the small things in life that may seem minor to us, but are extremely important here. Things like acknowledging one another in the street, not judging another based on appearance, culture, beliefs or life choices. Things like having enough food every day, having clean drinking water, or access to petrol to get around. Having somewhere to sleep at night, or clothes to wear. Having someone you can talk to when you need support. Having your loved ones alive and healthy. Children having access to education, or at the very least, someone to care for them.
Every single person I have met here; whether it be in conversation, or just a hello along the street, has been friendly, has a smile for me and a heartfelt “Namaste”, which is not only spoken, but is a genuine energy exchanged between two people. When I hand someone extra rupees because I feel as though they deserve more than what they’ve asked for selling me something, or for their wonderful service, they are genuinely grateful and it shows in their eyes. When I tell someone there’s no need to be ‘sorry’ or to treat me any differently because they somehow feel that I expect them to cater to my every need because I’m a tourist, they breathe a sigh of relief, and I can feel a knowing between us. A knowing that we understand one another as fellow human beings who are equal.
Our tour guide Yagya, said something beautiful the first day we met him; “I am not perfect. Life is about learning. Some things I know more than you, some things you know more than me. We are here to learn from each other.” That, we are. If we could only all begin by adopting the simple, yet powerful practice of the Nepali people in sharing a genuine “Namaste” to one another, the world may be a different place.
Namaste: “I honour the place in you where the universe resides. When I am in that place in me, and you are in that place in you, there is only one of us.”
The word, “Namaste” contains a word “Nama” which means “negating or reducing one’s ego in the presence of another”. Meaning, when people greet each other with “Namaste” they accept their existence.
When two people greet each other by joining their ten fingers, a vibe is produced, and when a person closes his/her eyes, and bow their head before another person, an energy is developed from heart – to – head. And finally, exerted through his/her head. This energy links one person to another, and every time it is done, an honour is developed; respect is created.
Namaste can elevate one’s consciousness, reminding us that all beings, all existence, is sacred. It also tends to draw an individual inward for a moment; inspiring reflection on deeper realities, and softens the interface between two people.
If we could reach a time and place where we all genuinely practice ‘Namaste’ to our fellow human beings, we could very well be much closer to achieving peace in the world.
The Nepali people have life all figured out.