We have the power to see the world from whatever perspective we like to. We choose the shade of the glasses we wear.
Most of the time I am trying to choose the beautiful and quirky ones, life just gets more fun that way. The glasses that don’t oversee the simple details. Because the ability to appreciate the simple things is valuable regardless of how much money you have in your pocket. And the glasses that acknowledge imperfection instead of letting them ruin your day. Like with my shoes that I within minute after arriving in Kabul soak into deep mud. I can decide to curse about it. Or I can laugh or even decide that I like it.
I believe that by trying to make the best out of things in our close surrounding is one of the most powerful ways to make the world a better place. To try to enjoy time with friends, make a little extra effort for others and smile a bit more has a way larger impact on other peoples life than I usually realize in the very moment that it happens. But I do believe it is the way to go. At least that is what impact others peoples effort has on me.
Still, the world is full of larger imperfections that are painful to deal with, but have to be dealt with. And to deny them is not a path I would want to choose for my life. It doesn’t mean I believe that one has to run off to Afghanistan to tell a story. I really think that awareness and small local actions are often enough. This is what I usually focus on here on my blog. However, not to go to Kabul, when I was given the opportunity, felt wrong. I would have blamed myself for years.
I can not write about my trip to Kabul, and blend out the moments of fear I had, the sadness I saw and the parents worries that I listened to. But of all I experienced in Kabul, the positive stories still over shadow the dark ones. So I will tell you both.
I do not think I could have said it better than Maryam Montague, an American Human Rights specialist who lives in Morocco. Maryam also runs a design blog about Moroccan interior and style, just as much as about she writes about her view of the world. Maryam travelled to Kabul about a month before me and I am thankful for her efforts trying to connect me with Afghan women rights activists and female journalist before I went to Kabul.
This is her post about her way to Kabul:
“I boarded the plane. As I sat down in my seat I saw that it had no seatbelt — an airline oversight, of sorts. All the other seats were taken. And so perhaps it was that this seat, yes, this seat, was meant for me.
As I looked out the window, I thought to myself, I can either decide to see the beauty, or the scratches.
And then I knew with a kind of certainty
that on this journey I would see both.“