By: Lily Liu

2012-07-06 02:39:18

Some Classical Thoughts while Preparing for Contemporary India

Dear Reader,

I've chosen to blog in letter format because it allows me to be more sincere with my thoughts. I don't want to blog to an empty audience- I write with the hope that at least one person will read what I say and carry my words along; but the worth of my words rests with your judgement, and I don't doubt that you may find some of my musings naive or common. I can only hope that at least one of my entries will instigate a nod or a smile from you- or a creak of the gears in between your ears- something other than an eyeroll served with a plate of muttered "young naivite."

I really can't believe I'll be heading to India in 3 weeks to visit my friends at Ubuntu! I have to admit that until the opportunity to visit arose, I had never seriously considered a trip to India. My sophomore year at Georgetown has really opened me to new experiences though, and I am so honored to have a chance to appreciate the spirit of my friends at Ubuntu!

My stumbling upon Ubuntu reminds me of a Ted talk recently given by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of the novel Eat.Pray.Love.)In speaking about success in the arts, she contrasts the Enlightenment rationalism and egoism with the Classical belief in daemons- spirits that enter into artists, scholars, etc., and inspire their work. The Classical view is humble in that it acknowledges forces outside of an individual that guide that person's work.

This is a view that I fully support, and hope to carry with me as I progress through my visit with Ubuntu. I may have purchased my plane ticket to Bangalore, but I can't have made the decision to visit completely on my own. There exist connections between Ubuntu and all the seemingly unrelated aspects of my life that have filled me with this desire to understand Ubuntu's oeuvre.

I want to stay humble to these invisible ties during my visit with my friends. There may not be a solitary spirit pushing me to take this journey, but I need to acknowledge the web of circumstance, experience, and choice, that have brought me towards Ubuntu. I hope that my consciousness of these outside forces will keep me invested in the people I meet even as I see my own values and thoughts take place and build onto my identity, so that I can fully understand the vivacity of Ubuntu in its work. 

Until next time,



Vibha Pingle 2012-07-06 12:58:42

We\'re looking forward to welcoming you to our villages! Join us in forging a new developmental path for our women-members...

Jillian J. Foster 2012-07-13 19:32:20

Lily, I am dying for another blog entry from you. Tell me more about these connections and how they are playing out in your India experience. Your words are beautiful, reminding me of a recent book I read ... The Book of Secrets by Deepak Chopra. I highly recommend this book and the author if you have not discovered his work already. Like you, I strongly believe in an interconnected web of circumstances, experiences, people, and vibes. Learning to put aside one\'s ego and obsession with self-interested individualism is the key to the universe, to happiness, to fulfilling work, and to contributing to this fascinating and complicated world. Write more ... pretty please!

Lily Liu 2012-07-17 02:16:32

Thanks Vibha- I\'m so anxious to go the Workspaces!! I\'ve been reading all the other interns\' blogs and am insanely jealous. Jillian- Thank you for the recommendation! I will definitely look into acquiring the Chopra book. Unfortunately I won\'t be with Ubuntu until July 28th, but will hopefully post something before I go. Thanks for the support!

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