Among all Global Volunteers’ partner communities, struggle is a common thread. Our inspired and resourceful partners rise to leadership positions with their vision of opportunities that may not be obvious or seemingly attainable to others. In this second interview with Global Volunteers’ partner and consultant in Kathmandu, Nepal, Buddhi Man Shrestha describes how overcoming hardship enabled him to form an enduring perspective on peace and possibility. (Pictured with his wife Madhu)
What early life experiences contributed to your hopeful perspective today?
My experienced comes from my own life as well as others’. My childhood wasn’t luxurious. In fact, it was very difficult by most standards, with ups and downs in my family and in my country. I had no proper education and was forced to work from my young age. I learned to accept instability – in politics, healthcare and education. From that, I came to believe life is a mixture of happiness and sorrow. One cannot separate it. These experiences give me hope and direction during this time of the pandemic.
What gives you the strength and hope to look to the future?
Nothing lasts forever – I believe this. I believe that this pandemic will also get over soon. Even if I feel anxiety, I stick with my belief that everything will change for the good. I can see the difficulties, but I still see a bright future ahead. For instance, the biggest traumas was the earthquake in 2015, and when India blocked all supplies to our country for more than a month. Before that was the Maoist issue with all the in-fighting. From that we learned to survive and grow. That’s why I know we, as a country, have the strength to face the current health care trauma.
Will your community be stronger or weaker after the pandemic? What’s your role in that?
Personally, I don’t think it will make any country strong, but this phase will go away. People will be more cautious for a while, and they will grow stronger, but it will take time. At this time, my community is facing a food crisis. Many people in our community work for daily wages. What they earn in a day is enough just for food. And, when they can’t work, they can’t eat. They can’t feed their families. Many people actually can’t even afford to buy a face mask because they need to save money for food. When the Global Volunteers return, they will be great help in our community. I am willing and ready to direct them to those places where people are in real need. I am always eager to help my community by any means all the time.
What do you tell young people about enduring hardship?
I tell all our youth that life is beautiful. We can have happiness, but life gives us challenges which makes us strong and stronger. We grow wise and brave, and we must be ready for anything that life offers. We can’t worry about hardship, because it is inevitable. We can’t chase happiness, because it is elusive. We can be peaceful in our hearts, and grateful for each day as it comes. If we help one another, we can endure hardship together.
Read more about Buddhi Man here: