Turning Down the Easy Way

|Author: Kevin|

This past weekend I expected the best part of Pondicherry to be the beautiful beaches, amazing food, or the meditation cult. While I had a game changing chocolate almond croissant and I got to see a massive, seemingly alien, golden ball a group practiced karma meditation in, the best part of Pondicherry was the volleyball.

Rob, Eric, and I play on the same IMA volleyball team back in UW and were itching to play on a beach in Pondicherry. Elbin was also determined. After going to serenity beach to find no volleyball court, Elbin sent us again to the wrong location of another beach for us finally to get his live location to drive to. An angry tuktuk driver later, we rolled up to a volleyball court in the middle of a random low-income community in Pondicherry. Elbin, Tipu, and Refush were all there playing volleyball with a couple kids from the community joining in. After thirty minutes, a couple kids turned into a game of 20 on 20 with a packed perimeter of cheers and laughs watching the intense rallies.

One particular moment really tugged at everyone’s heart strings. A little boy, no older than 7 years old, walked up to me and asked if he could serve. I gave him the ball and when I tried to guide him a bit closer to the net to get it over, he did a spin move and walked to the backline of the volleyball court, like the pros. Admiring his determination, I stepped aside and started hyping up the little legend himself. The crowd was going wild and with the hardest swing his little fist could punch, he launched the ball for the sky. Not entirely making it to the net didn’t matter because his team had his back and helped him bump it over. His eyes widened and his excitement jumped out of his body celebrating with handstands as the crowd yelled so loud the whole community came out to see what the commotion was about. We played volleyball, juggled soccer balls on the sidelines, and cheered our hearts out every time that kid went fearlessly up to the backline to get the ball over.

The next two weeks of GCIL make me feel like that kid looking at the net from seemingly a mile away. Met with my own self-denial, I’m scared to death I will let down the crowd, being my organization and peers, and miss completely with the my GCIL project landing flat in front of me. But what I learned from that kid was the steps of success. Turn down the easy way out and step up to the reality. Swing my arm as hard as possible and aim for the sky. I may not get it over every time but like we have learned in class, I fail fast and step back up to the line. And finally, in order to be successful with such a grand challenge, it's not the power of one arm that can achieve the feat but the power of my Parikrma Dream team, Cat, Cameron, Sophie, and I that will serve that ball over the net together and achieve something seemingly unimaginable.

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