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Living life outside a package | Aksheta Kanuganti | TEDxCarrollwoodDaySchool

November 11, 2019


Translator: sadegh zabihi
Reviewer: Queenie Lee I’m lucky. I mean, I’m really lucky. I’ve grown up in a beautiful
two-story house near a lake, and I’ve always had anything
I’ve ever wanted. Anything I wanted to learn, whether it was dance, piano,
music, karate, I learned. Anywhere I wanted to travel, whether it was as close to me as St. Pete
or as far away as Greece, I traveled. Then, I took my first trip to India. I still remember that feeling
of astonishment and surprise, like I have been to India
for the first time only a few days ago. Bazaars covered
every corner of the street, leaving the road in the middle
covered with rocks and dirt. I took a deep breath, and I memorized the scent of the air. My family and I made our way
to the nearest temple to give our prayers. As we were walking up the stairs, I noticed a couple of men
in thin orange clothing in the cold weather. Most of the men weren’t wearing any shoes. And they definitely didn’t look
as though they lived lavishly. These men were the monks of India,
also known as sadhus. They were realizing that there is no happiness
in any of the things we buy. But there is happiness
when we live for others, and believe in the spiritual being
also known as God. Instead of seeking materialistic desires, they sought ideas and knowledge
above all materialistic things. They were compassionate,
kind, disciplined, determined. After viewing this beautiful character
that came out of not having anything, I realized that I didn’t know anything
about this side of life. I am not saying that you don’t need
the basic fundamentals, such as food, water, shelter, but you don’t need
the latest Apple device. I had the latest Apple device,
yet, I wasn’t kind, I wasn’t compassionate, and I complained
about every small little thing. As Dada Vaswani, a spiritual leader and head
of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, stated, “Happiness, true happiness is an inner quality.” It’s a state of mind. If your mind is at peace, you are happy. If your mind is at peace
but you have nothing else, you can be happy. If you have everything
the world has to offer – pleasure, power, possessions –
but lack of peace of mind, you can never be happy. But the problem is, my new perspective
on materialistic desires shows me that I don’t need these things,
but I want them. We can think of needs and wants
like the sun and the shadow. The more I walk towards the sun, my needs, my wants, and desires, my shadow will be right behind me. But the second I turn around, and I try to chase my wants,
and I try to chase my desires, the more my shadow will run from me. Struggle. Yeah, a little bit of struggle in my life is what I need for the opportunity
to learn valuable skills such as the ability of compassion, empathy, perseverance, and determination. Challenges in a lifetime can change
the way a person interacts with the world. People who have faced challenges
have failed many, many times, but they’ve gotten back up on their feet
each and every time. They show us that failure
is defined by the world, but for myself, only I can define success. But through these materialistic objects
and brand name items, I need to keep in mind
the perspective I’ve developed. To practice this perspective,
I’m not going to give up everything I have nor stop chasing my dreams
and become a Sadhu, I’m just going to stop ranking myself
based on what I have, stop comparing myself to other people. I’m going to judge myself
based on ethics and understandings because in the end,
that’s all that matters. Just like Alexander the Great, he focused his whole life
to achieve the world, to rule the world, but in the end, as he had requested, his soldiers put his hands out like this to show that no matter what he attained
throughout his life, he couldn’t take anything
to the grave with him. So, let me leave everyone on one note. As Howard Waldstein, the CEO
of entertainment facilities, stated, “By stepping out of your box, you don’t have to settle for who you are, but you can create
who you want to become.” Thank you. (Applause)

1 Comment

  • Reply Nsh March 31, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Kids these days! 😛

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