This was taken in one of the rural regions of Thailand where I lived for a month on my first volunteering experience.
Here, I am helping the old women of the village with their job of sweeping jasmine rice that is collected from the fields, laid out on plastic tarps to dry out and then distributed to many parts of South East Asia, as this jasmine rice is unique to this part of Thailand.
I can’t say that I loved every bit of my first experience doing humanitarian type of work in this part of the world.
Living conditions are almost opposite compared to the overly privileged life I grew up with in Sydney. The work is sometimes tough and the physical shift from being surrounded by familiarity and some of my closest and most needed relationships back home to being in a foreign place with people I’ve never met before, half of them who can’t even speak my language is daunting.
If I intended on making humanitarian work in rural regions enticing for everybody, I would be doing a terrible job with this post. So then, why the fuck do I continue to do this stuff, despite the long list I made against it?
On the outside, it looks like nothing but discomfort, pain and fear, however under the surface lies many of life’s profound lessons, memories and experiences – these are unmatched anywhere else.
In his book, ‘Evolve Your Brain’ by neuroscientist Dr. Joe Dispenza, he mentions how novel experiences and new bits of life knowledge can actually change your brain, resulting in a change in who you are.
Because our brains are plastic and not fixed, neuroscience now shows that one can change themselves by acquiring new knowledge and new novel experience. The brain is not fixed, but rather can be moulded and shaped, regardless of age.
Once you can turn these things into wisdom, where by having learned new knowledge and gained new experience, you are able to create a new ‘you’.
Knowing this sheds a bright, positive light on who we are as individuals. It shows that when unhappy with particular aspects of ourselves or our lives, we aren’t doomed to settle for them. We can change our brains and change our lives.
Education + experience = wisdom
(a new you)