It was Buddha who said, “No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
History demonstrates effectively that individuals who took their own path, who listened to their inner callings despite the current norms of society were in fact the game changers of our world. These were the people that did not take no for an answer, who were compelled to find new truths to old answers. We might not all be able to go down in history and become prolific game changers, but we can all certainly learn the value of listening to our own voice.
In 2008, I was finishing my Masters in Finance and Economics and had three months to complete my dissertation. A strong need to deviate from the norm got me thinking about travelling to a country I had never been to before and exploring my education in a completely new context. My research on the Success of Microcredit Provision led me to an internship with a small NGO in Trujillo, Peru.
I’m from India, so I had plenty of reason to find an equally compelling town or village back home. It would have been cheaper, my family’s collective blood pressure wouldn’t have gone up in worry, and I would have had more than adequate research material for my dissertation. But moving out of my own comfort zone and finding similarities in unfamiliar territories is what started to inspire me. How many opportunities would I have to fly out to a completely new space and observe life, compare statistics, and learn how unique new communities could be?
My decision did not come easy. It was burdened by the fears of my parents and relatives, by financial constraints, and a general lack of confidence in my ability to pull it off. I allowed other people’s fears of disease, getting kidnapped, and my inability to speak the language paralyzed me. But your inner voice always wins out. After a few sessions with my school counselor, I made a fund raising page online, and raised enough money to buy my ticket to Peru. Although most of my communication in the country consisted of the tired “No Habla Español”, I managed to communicate and sharpen my skills as time went on. Coming back to India, I knew I wanted to keep the rush of what I had done alive. My internship in Peru gave me an edge during my job hunt where I eventually worked with Deutsche Bank for 2 years . Questions were raised before I decided to distance myself from the Corporate World and move on to a more disciplinary field , the answers were not simple but possibly a representation of the person I am. I ran of the confidence and insight Peru had given to me, and I followed my gut once again. The Skilled Samaritan was born, and from conception to launch, my passion for its intent has never wavered.
My hope is for a mandi to thrive, a market, a community of people who have had the privilege of education and relative economic stability to engage with greater levels and dimensions of the world we live in. How do we all interact and affect each other? What is our impact on the world? Do all of us possess a sense of adventure, a need to jump into the unknown, find moments that truly build the fabric of humanity we are all connected to? Do we all harbor idealistic dreams of bringing our knowledge to something new and receiving new knowledge at the same time? Do we all have the potential to learn from the most basic environments? My guess is that we all do, and in order for us to reach those potentials we need to build a strong network of interest. Here is my offering to this imagined network. This is my participation to a world I envision as connected, and beautifully symbiotic. I am thrilled you stopped by. It is my sincere hope you will find opportunities here that will compel you to start your new path today.