Building Pathways


The monsoons hit Chandigarh this week, leaving people soaked and happy that temperatures are once again bearable. As I was leaving my room yesterday, I was met with a number of newly formed “lakes” and “rivers” (read: large puddles of still water and large puddles of moving water). Navigating my way around this to arrive at my destination was no easy task. While there were the smaller pools of water that had a small path of sorts on the side or through well-placed stones, there were a number of pools of water that initially seemed to have no possible route to cross. No side path, no rocks and not only was there no path but there were obstacles in the way- happily bathing pigs, large frogs and cows. “There is no way.  How do I do this? I have to do this. I have a group of 30 kids waiting for me.” With all seemingly traditional ways of getting across this puddle gone, I turned back to find another route that could possibly take me to my destination. While backtracking, I found a pile of broken old bricks.

I put down my bag and started to pick up bricks. I returned to the puddle and began to strategically place the bricks in the puddle and then tested them accordingly for ‘walk-ability’. As I was doing this, two children stopped behind me, as they too, needed to cross this seemingly impossible puddle. They realized what I was doing and started to go back and forth bringing me bricks to make a pathway forward. Together, we made a bridge of sorts to cross the no-longer impossible puddle. We crossed, parted ways and went along our business. In the evening, when I returned, I saw the brick path; we had lain in the morning being used by the evening commuters returning home from work.

As I walked home that evening, I realized this puddle is a good representation of my year- challenges, triumphs and partnerships. From the beginning of the year, there have been challenges that had easier pathways forward and those challenges that seemed to have no direction but backwards. Taking the lessons from failures and missteps and learning to appreciate moving backwards has been a lesson I have learned and am still learning. Triumphs, both big and small, have led me to learn more about the world and appreciate the good, bad and ugly in people. Partnerships have been the key to making triumphs delightful and challenges solvable and sometimes, well all the more challenging.

Furthermore, this story represents the most useful tool I have discovered and utilized this year- that I have the power within me to produce change. Rather, everyone has this innate ability and the onus is on you to tap into it and use it. At Indicorps, we are encouraged to dig internally to discover our ability to navigate tough situations. However, people rarely test their extreme limits and thus underestimate their capacity to tackle and handle untraditional, tough situations.

While I myself am still learning about my own capability to push my limits, I now have a confidence that I can handle anything that comes my way. It’s never this big solution that comes with jazzy lights but rather a solution that comes through existing resources with a path created one brick at a time.

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