Of all of the people I met in Nepal, the one who stuck with me the most was 1-year old Diamond. He was possibly the happiest little human I have ever met. He came in to the room held by his Grandpa, stared at me for a minute – at which point I was unsure of whether he was about to cry or smile – and broke into the loudest belly laugh I’ve ever heard. He sat on my lap for the next ten minutes, facing his Grandpa and Daddy, then turn his head to see if I was still there, and the laughing would start again. I believe I may have been the strangest looking person he’d ever seen! We shared no common language, a significant age and cultural difference, and yet it was like we were old friends. The men in the room were trying to teach him how to put his hands together and bow to say ‘Namaste’ to me…..while watching his little hands momentarily mimic his menfolk before flailing about again a la 1 year old, I got a firmer idea of what ‘Namaste’ actually means beyond the literal translation – ‘the Divine in me sees the Divine in you’. It’s a beautiful way of acknowledging and reminding each other of the basic core of every being. As I’m not a religious person, I’d previously have squirmed uncomfortably around the use of the word ‘Divine’ but in the broader sense I now understand the connection. I believe this is why there is so little aggression in Nepal. Every person I have met refers to me as ‘Sister’, another reminder that they recognise me as a fellow soul – more than just a body – and respect my right to a happy and safe existence here.
Little Diamond, however tiny, already knows this. He looked straight into my eyes with absolutely no fear or hesitation and shared his big belly laugh with me. Not only him, but kids everywhere seem to know this innately from the time they are born. My wish is that this message that we are all here equally, together, and that we cannot be separated through religion, social status, wealth, gender, race, was taught on an international basis from a young age. Children don’t need to be taught it, I believe they already know this. Their innate curiosity about one another is apparent, with little evidence of pre-conceived discrimination or judgment. What happens next is adults get to them with their own damaged world view. And voila!
Thank you little Diamond for your inspiration! Although your hands are small, I believe your heart is mighty! Namaste to you also. xxxx