A Little Perspective

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Life Lessons from Nepal: Work Hard

A few days later, we were told that we were going to do a twelve-mile hike to a remote village in the mountains where we would help clear land for farming. Twelve. Miles. One-way. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy a nice hike and communing with nature. But I was not prepared for this. I had no idea when I packed for my trip that I'd be taking a 48-hour trek to a remote mountain village. To make things more interesting, I had contracted some type of cold in my first few days that resulted in a fever and bad cough. My body and brain wanted me to stay in bed, but my wandering heart wanted to adventure with my group of volunteers. Unfortunately for my body, the latter won out and I found myself on the side of a mountain almost ready to pitch myself head first over a cliff. The hike turned out to be one of the most physically difficult and demanding things I have ever done.

In the moment I approached the final ascent, I wanted to be anywhere else but there. My feet were bleeding, my back was aching, my clothes were dripping wet, and my lungs were gasping for air. It was not my proudest moment. I went to bed that night feeling pretty beaten. I had survived the hike, but I hadn't done it with the attitude and ease that I would have liked. I spent the next 24 hours as we worked with the local farmers, forgetting about the miserable hike and admiring the beautiful scenery and hard work of the Nepali people. In our technology-advanced society, we barely leave our climate-controlled buildings long enough to sweat on our walk to the car. These people spend hours, days, and years tilling their land and hauling their water. Some of them never leave the mountain they were born on. And here I am, a spoiled middle-class American who thinks it's too hard to climb the mountain. As an apostle once reminded me, "All true work is sacred...there is something of divineness. Labour, wide as the Earth, has its summit in Heaven." Sometimes I think our American society (myself included) has forgotten how to truly work. That was another lesson Nepal taught me, to work hard.

Whatever you do, work hard and allow that work to refine you as you contribute to something bigger than just yourself.


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