March 26, 2009


Peace Corps teaches, maybe more than anything else, patience and tolerance, which I also call flexibility. We wait for transportation that says it will leave sometime between 9am and 6pm, we sit quietly for hours as people talk quickly in a language we don't understand completely, we drop everything we are doing to do some random thing, we pause, ponder and puzzle over how to say a sentence, we see things that in America would be unacceptable but here just laugh or say "Yanaa" ("Wow"). But note, we can relax here, we can enjoy a stillness and quiet that comes with being with your own thoughts, we get to do fun exciting things at random times all the time, we spend so much time thinking about what we are going to say in another language that we only usually say kind and helpful things, and we get to ask ourselves, "Hey, yeah...we don't we do that in America?"

We are more patient, tolerant and flexible here because we have to be, but personally I want to be more patient and tolerant my entire life because I choose to be. Most of us in Mongolia are better people because of these experiences. I certainly am.

The person who has a tremendous reserve of patience and tolerance has a certain degree of tranquility and calmness in his or her life. Such a person is not only happy and more emotionally grounded, but also seems to be physically healthier and to experience less illness. The person possesses a strong will, has good appetite, and can sleep with a clear conscience.
- The Dalai Lama