Champions of Development

"You gain courage, strength, and confidence every time you confront your fears; you must do the things you think you cannot."   

-Eleanor Roosevelt


A meandering body attached to a curious mind. A world traveled through increasingly widening eyes. Scars of attachment. Deteriorated bridges and a blindingly beautiful horizon.  


I often wonder, "Why is this my gift?  Have I unpackaged it with care?  Has the intention of this attainment been understood?  Is its use a boondoggle, profligated because of greed, or coming into focus simply at the right time?"


A Pathless Journey always finishes somewhere. Even with closed eyes, one foot in front of the other eventually leads to point B. The ultimate destiny, regardless of the amount steps, jumps, or flights, regardless of race, economic status, or fame, always ends the same. 


Can I truly be of use to others if I am useless to myself? 


It has been this question, unraveling in the shadows of time, each moment nudging choices towards this moment, the subtle unfolding of passion stemmed from a simple formula which allows me to live in Zambia. This enduring time called pre-service training where days are filled with information- language immersion, cultural understanding, medical seminars, safety and security talks, fish farming principles and application, bicycle maintenance...- is both the culmination of the journey thus far, and the beginning of what is to be.  


But in order to be here in Chongwe Town, just outside of Lusaka, now in this moment, I have applied desire, energy, mind, and investigation. It is a simple system, confusing to many. No journey is free of obstacles. But it seems hurdles are the ultimate gatekeeper preventing attainment.  For many, even before big challenges can be faced. the diminutive ones block momentum.  


I often feel it is impossible to not be happy when everything is well. If I am receiving my desires, if all the stoplights are green for my swift passage, if I understand everything with ease, how could I be unhappy?  If only people would do everything my way, at my convenience, for my prosperity... If only the world lived for me.  


This utopia does not exist in a traditional mind. To live with serenity I must choose another way. If I want to overcome this training, the fundamental preparatory system in Peace Corps training, if I want to overcome challenges that lie ahead, if I want to continue pursuing this path, before an opportunity to face tremendous challenges arises, I must develop strong desire, be filled with bountiful energy, develop an unwavering mind, and be ready to investigate the meaning of each stage. These traits will render small obstacles obsolete. I will approach each moment with great clarity, detached from craving, and not bound up shunning aversions. These agents of concentration development have brought me here, which will lead me onward down the path of the Middle Way.  


Taking the first step is the greatest challenge.