Girls will be Girls! The practice of compassion and trust in the eyes of others.
February 28, 2019
Over the Christmas/New Year holiday we took our family to Kenya for what was a life-changing experience. The beauty of the land and its people was beyond comprehension. It was so primitive and different, yet we felt so comfortable and at home. Our guides and the people of the local tribes are what created this feeling of connection and compassion that we will never forget.
On New Years eve, with the evening sky and Mount Kilimanjaro as our backdrop, we participated in the highly anticipated Maasai Olympics with over 125 Maasai (the indigenous ethnic group of southern Kenya). As our boys competed in the games of spear throwing, running races, club throwing and the local favorite, high jumping, I gathered with the gorgeous girls and chatted it up! I do not speak Swahili but we were communicating perfectly through laughter, admiration, and spirit. As much as we are different, our feminine characteristics are so very similar. We admired each others jewelry and eyes. They loved my painted nails and skin and I absolutely adored their smiles. Girls will be girls!
It is also important to mention, and somewhat ignorant on my part, that I brought with me many lululemon head bands and hair ties to give to the girls during the trip, and what I learned is that most of the women have their hair cut very short and had no use for hair accessories. There are many preconceived ideas that we went with to Kenya of what we thought the Maasai and other local tribes people were missing and needed. What we discovered is that they are deeply subscribed to their traditions and live in ways that are practical to their environment. As westerners, we believe that wealth and happiness is based on materialistic things, whereby the Maasai feel like they are already wealthy due to the richness of their culture and lifestyle.
Yogi, Sri Dharma Mittra, says, “The first step of yoga is to learn to see yourself in others-and to respect, to be reverent, and be compassionate to all beings. Its the best thing to contribute to world peace and to prepare one for self-knowledge.”
I will add that trust, is one of the deepest forms of respect. To trust that our uniqueness is what makes the world a better place. To trust and empathize with others in order to be compassionate and intelligent to how we can connect with people all over the world on a deeper level. I learned that my respect and kinship with the Maasai was shown in the most authentic and simplistic ways, through laughter and admiration. Something us girls do very well!
We do not have to go to Kenya to practice this kind of trust and compassion. Our own communities are filled with people who need our respect and connection. A simple acknowledgement or friendly gesture is what can be the start of something grand.