Abroad, adventure, angel, Black travel, community, ecuador, Ecuador expats, esl, esl teaching, expats, expats in Ecuador, gratitude, happiness, happy, imbabura, kimochi, life of service, los angeles, oprah, pay it forward, teacher, teaching abroad, thankful, travel, university, viva la vida, Yachay
Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of successful people speak about giving away your gift/product/talent for free. Russell Simmons spoke about rappers giving away their music for free and building a following. The creator of LinkedIn spoke about providing your service for free to fellow entrepreneurs as a way of building alliances. The Secret discussion on an old Oprah show where they posed the question, “How can I serve? How can I use my life in service?” My friend Angel first turned me on to this when she told me about helping a Korean guy with his English, despite knowing that she would receive nothing in returned. We were in Seoul and I was complaining about the ongoing pattern in my life of people using me, such as fellow teachers trying to “network” with me to get a uni job in Seoul. I listened to Angel, as I always do, with intrigue and openness. But yesterday, I realized she was speaking that lingo of paying it forward, putting out good karma, enjoying the process and giving the results to God. On Sunday, I gave a free English lesson to two of the ladies that work in the laundry services on campus. One lady even brought her high school son to my home. I taught them basic questions and daily activities verbs for 1.5 hours. They enjoyed it and I actually enjoyed teaching them, and I knew I was getting nothing in return, not even Spanish lessons. I think I’m reaching another level in my evolution. I see now the importance of sharing my talents/skills because I never know how my helping out someone will help me out in the future or what role it is meant to play in the story of my life. I also remember my success is tied into my community’s success. And I really have learned how to be happy for others’ happiness. (“kimochi ii” (a good feeling inside of you) arise when can experience others’ happiness.) The next step is giving away my tea. If this is to be the year that I open IPW Tea Cafe/Garden/Bar, I need to start sharing my tea and the joy of tea moments in hectic lives.