When I came to this exchange, I had an idea of what I would be giving the kids I would be working with. I knew I would be giving them the gift of dancing. I would be giving them my presence and time. But I had no clue how much the kids would be giving me.
They showed me what its like to be a child again. Children do not care about your age, race, gender, what language you speak, how much you weigh, or what you look like. All that children care about is if you spend time with them. Something so simple but so forgotten in U.S. culture. Sometimes all you need to do is simply be present with someone.
They showed me their passion for playing. I think this is another thing we forget in my culture. Even as adults, we should continue playing. In my culture we place such emphasis on hard working and fitting into societal norms. But we all have an inner child in our hearts which we should nurture by playing and laughing as much as possible. Laughter truly heals.
They showed me how happy you can be without material things. The children have all of their needs met. They have food, water, shelter, medicine, even computers and internet. But they don’t keep wanting more. They are not addicted to buying and collecting material objects. They appreciate what they have. They find new games to play. They give their love to one another rather than physical objects. And their smiles are so bright. These children are so happy when they play with each other.
They opened up a new type of love in my heart. A love so strong and powerful, possibly greater than any type of love I have known before. These children have so much love to give. So much innocence and happiness and playfulness that they want to share with one another.
By the end of the exchange, I left with the greatest gift. A heart filled to the brim. I aspire to be more like these children.