About a week ago…I was at Seeds of Peace International Camp at Maine, US.
Probably the best summer of my life. An unforgettable time that I had with some more than hundreds of people that I have ever met in my whole life. My perspective of peace, war and hate have all turned upside down to this idea that world is beautiful place to live. I think the most important thing that I learned was this notion that everything that you see around yourself was created by people no smarter than you. And like wise every single idea that was created was thought of by people no smarter than you and me. Most of the people nowadays push you towards this limit–not to bash into the walls too much, not to change anything. Once you get that universal truth, that everything was created by humans such as yourself, you can do almost anything. At least you free your brain from such an idea, that everything is the way its. No!
I remember the first day. I was going to spend three weeks of my life there. And I had no idea how it would turn out. Towards the beginning of the camp, I had this anxious thought of if things would not work out well for me. Fast forward–two days towards the end of the camp, I was so nostalgic about the place and the people that I met. I genuinely felt at the time that everyone around me were my friends, because they were and they are. And I hadn’t had that feeling ever in my life.
I spent so much time reflecting on my life. Sitting quietly on the grass field, facing the “Pleasant Lake” and thinking about all the things that I had done. Everything that I was proud of about myself. It felt great. I felt great at the time. I have to say it was truly magical. I had not experienced something like that before.
Waking up at 6:30 AM everyday to get ready for a day. It was something else. Although at the time it was freezing cold, it felt great–pushing yourself to the limit. Then at line-ups, where I got most of my entertainment time there. It was all there, that I thought differently about things in life. Line-ups were inspiring, amazing, hilarious, funny and everything in between.
There’s so much to say.
Going out for canoeing, it was awesome. I learned something there too. Being in sync with someone. You have to paddle in the right way with your partner or else you would flip the canoe. Flipping the canoe, that never happened. Because I soon realized that you had to be in sync. While canoeing, I thought of something. I thought of the waves in the water. I saw how the ripples would work in such a beautiful harmony. I went deep thinking. And there I found that everything in nature works in a beautiful harmony. There is no system in nature, a system is too rigours. It’s harmony. It just works.
Most of the days, I would be exhausted by evening. There was so much to do. And right now, I am so thankful for that. Doing all these activities together with these people that inspired me in different ways. I learned masses from these people. More than facts. I learned intuition from these people. Following your heart. Sometimes it was frustrating for me doing challenges, but there was always a silver lining. In the end, I was always thankful for doing something, that at a time it felt murky, gloomy and distasteful to me, but at the end it turned out to be a lesson I learned.
There was this other side, that I was not so much exposed to. Diversity. Seeing people in their national cloths, seeing them dance together in their national cloths, seeing them sing their national anthem, seeing them talk in their own language. I found that diversity beautiful.
Dialogue. The most mind-opening conversations I’ve ever had. And these were with people my age. It’s beautiful how a group of people, when they come together, can do things that are astonishing. During dialogue, yes I shouted, yes I yelled, yes I got angry, yes I made people angry. That was all part of knowing each other. I came to realize that as time went on. I also came to realize that these people that I am talking to have things common with me. They are hurt in some way. Some thing that makes their life harder. And we talked about issues that in each side of the conflict, made us hate each other. But during dialogue, everyone got to know, that it was someone else’s fault, and most of the time it was the governments that made the choice for the people. In our dialogue group we all agreed on something, first, what government wants is different from what people want, second, there is always biased-media.
By the end of the camp, I emotionally felt something by heart. I felt this need for friendship in life. How without friendship, nothing else would matter. It would feel so empty.
Everything that I did during the camp, all the little traditions, all the activities, all the challenges, all the little silly jokes I made…I am thankful for the amazing people I met who considered me as their friend, and the hardworking staff that prepared for all of this and made it happen.
More than anything else, I felt so much love.
Now I would like to share a quote that I have been meaning to share for a while now:
“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” — Kurt Vonnegut
Now time for a song that I have been meaning to share. Here goes the lyrics:
The world is closing in
Did you ever think
That we could be so close, like brothers
The future’s in the air
I can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change — Wind of Change by Scorpions.