Throughout my first nine days in Nepal, if there is one thing I have observed over and over and over again in the Nepali people, it is their never-ending capacity for resilience in the face of tragedy, loss, and seemingly insurmountable odds. These are people that know suffering. You see it in the piles of rubble flooding the streets, you see it in the gaping holes where homes once stood, you see it in the wounds of the sick and injured, but you do not see it in their smiles. Whether they are confronted with a devastating earthquake, civil and political strife, or a country-wide petrol shortage, the Nepali people continue to fight, survive, and rebuild stronger than before. As the 19th poorest country in the world, they have so much less than others in terms of infrastructure, security, and material goods, but they far surpass almost all others in terms of heart.
In reflecting on this testament to the unyielding human spirit, I think back to people at home who are continuing to fight and overcome great tragedies and challenges, truly embodying the powerful resilience of the Nepali people. Their perseverance is found in the family and friends of Jeremy McSpadden Jr, who keep on living each day despite his heartbreaking passing a year ago today. Their strength is found in Jace Malek, who is fighting every single day towards his unquestionable victory over cancer. Their courage is found in the students and communities of Northern Arizona University and Umpqua Community College, who are finding unity in light of the unimaginable events of late. Even halfway around the world, you are all in our minds and hearts. Cameron and I and the entire Conscious Connections Foundation team stand with you and thank you for inspiring us all to traverse the trials and tribulations of life and to emerge as more than we were.