Everything you wear says something about who you are and what is in your heart. While most women would not verbalize this, or even think about it, they want people to look at them. They want others, particularly men, to think they are beautiful. Today, people spend countless hours at the gym and tons of money to make their bodies look a certain way. Most of the time people say that diet and exercise are for their health, but if their hearts were exposed, it is really about 10% for their health and 90% so they can look good (true of both men and women). They have been told since the time of childhood that princesses are beautiful and wicked stepsisters are ugly. From almost the moment of birth, little girls are taught that so much of their value is found in their looks.
Recently, Beth asked me to write about lessons I have learned from my mother. Thinking about my remarkable mother, who raised six children and has 19 grandchildren, I agreed. Old habits persist, so I called my mother and asked for permission to share what I’ve learned from her. There was a long silence on her end of the phone. When she responded, her answer encapsulated one of the most valuable lessons she taught me: “I should write about what I’ve learned from you, Sandi. I have learned so much from all my kids.”
Like most idealists who come to India for the first time, we initially expected to see a storybook land of maharajas, magic carpets, temples and mosques to inspire our imaginations. However, living here on the ground with the people is far different than just touching the tarmac, going to a posh hotel and chronicling a visit with photographs once or twice a year. There is a harsh reality of having three times the number of people the US census claims all squashed into one-third the land space. To get some idea of what it really is, multiply your family by three and then imagine two-thirds less living space! Or multiply your family by nine in the same living space. That’s mind boggling.