How to Swallow the World

“Hello, my name is ___”

That’s the usual, automatic words to the question of who we are. I am Yada, I’m a blogger, and I love reading.

However, I have recently come to realize that that simple sentence does no justice. Telling the story of yourself, does no justice to who you are (which may seem quite contradictory, seeing as the purpose of introducing yourself is to tell about yourself).

As Salman Rushdie writes in his epic, Midnight Children, “To understand just one life you have to swallow the world .”  In that epic,  the narrator’s life and the political and social events in India are intermingled, as he was born at the stroke of midnight the day of India’s independence.

Most of us are not as fortunate to have been born in such a momentous time, but the quote still pertains to us still.  How? Whose lives do you carry, who would’ve tried or died for the type of lifestyle you lead? From the clothes we buy and other consumeristic choices to opportunities that are grasped by us, who loses?

For example, as a student at THINK Global School, the first traveling school in the world, I represent the hundreds, possibly thousands that did not get past the admissions round. Our lives are not our own. Our lives are made up of those who are unable to live it. And expanding that to a more altruistic, significant scale. You and i  are living, breathing humans with access to internet and probably a somewhat comfortable living. The poor, the uneducated, and the less fortunate are always behind us, and present in whatever action we decide to take. We represent them.

And besides, who decides if a baby is born in a rich family or a poor one? What past deed in the etherworld separates the rich from the poor?

And so, knowing that our lives are made up of all others that were, for some trick of nature, put into less privileged situations, we trudge on. And we must make sure that we face every obstacle, experience, and pleasure in life with utmost gratitude, and to maybe one day help those thousands within our lives.

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