Mr. Arvind Sekar is the sort of person who reveals himself only over time. About a year ago, his circle of support – a group of people who care about Arvind and his future, spent some time helping him to think about what the future might hold for him. After holding down a number of short-term jobs, Arvind was back in a job-readiness program, where he has spent a good part of his life. Making items for sale did not seem to interest him, the hospitality industry was not a fit, and an internship at Café Coffee Day seemed to engender little excitement.
When the discussion turned to caring for the land, Arvind’s entire face lit up and he began speaking with such animation about caring for the earth, about farming practices which make careful use of water and soil, and about preserving elements of the soil and caring for plants. The circle came alive with ideas for roles Arvind might fill in environmental advocacy, positive farming techniques, protection of the earth, and working for a good cause.
One of the circle members knew of an initiative in Tamil Nadu, far from the city of Bangalore where Arvind hails from. In the rural area of Villipuram district is a small farm on which people gather who share Arvind’s passion for the land. In fact, there is a tight knit community of people who live and work on the farm, and bind themselves together with great care helping to heal the land, and work with natural methods to bring it back to health. An intentional community, those who engage on the farm are from all walks of life, some come from far lands and even far nations to contribute to the effort. A part of this place is about the land, but just as much of it is about the community of people trying to live in harmony with both the land and each other.
The world opened up a bit for Arvind on the day that he and his committed parents traveled by car to cross the country to see this place. They were warmly welcomed by the community members, and had a chance to experience a taste of the labors of care which happen there, and saw a very different sort of life that people were living. Arvind returned to Bengaluru the same man, slightly but noticeably shifted in some way. Having a powerful experience like this enabled him to see the potential for his engagement in life to be bigger, more somehow. He walks a little taller having had this experience.
His loving and committed parents also see him with a fresh perspective, having traveled with him, seen him in a radically different environment, and envisioned him branching out in his interests. Who knows where Arvind’s life path will lead him, but he continues on it a bit stronger and surer having had this opportunity. New experiences expand our world, help us discover who we are, and open up our futures. They also give us fresh eyes to view the world and each other.