“YEP showed how to become a leader by not succumbing to what is constantly changing around me; but to adapt and flourish amongst the changing by connecting to the forever-unchanging reality.”
Having a background in intellectual study of Vedanta, I came to YEP for 2 main reasons: 1) to expand that knowledge WHILE learning how to practically apply it in daily life and 2) to grow my faith in the higher. Before YEP, I could not conceptualize a force higher than all of us from which we arise and fall back into, while never truly separating from Him in the first place. I learned, here at YEP, that these two things are much closer than I expected. If we cannot have this belief, then our motivation to apply this knowledge is automatically half-hearted. I came into YEP with no faith and I left with a strong sense of logic-based faith. YEP served as an experience, while not always “fun”, that has prepared us to go out into the world and become dynamic leaders. It is possible to be a leader without Vedanta, but Vedanta doesn’t stop at showing you how to become a leader. That is only the beginning. YEP showed how to become a leader by not succumbing to what is constantly changing around me; but to adapt and flourish amongst the changing by connecting to the forever-unchanging reality. Thus, I feel like I have learned very applicable knowledge that will allow me to handle relationships with friends, family and workers more lovingly and compassionately. I will be able to handle obstacles in my life with a whole new light. I will not see them as something that can crush me, but instead those blessed opportunities in life that allow me to grow into a better version of me.
YEP provided a platform to be brutally honest with myself. We all have numerous shortcomings, but often hide behind different justifications we make up of them. YEP broke those for me and allowed me to confront them individually. How can we effectively lead and serve the community when we ourselves are filled with inadequacy? YEP began to pick at those inadequacies in a very blatant way so that I could learn to address them myself. Not only this, but it taught me how to deal with each of them efficiently. It allowed me to not be dependent on others to help myself. It is an internal journey meant to be handled by oneself. At the same time, having those who share the same vision around you is empowering. My fellow batch mates and are truly secured a life-long bond. We are all people who wish to live purposeful lives, but want to do it with strength instead of feeling drained. This connection made at YEP will forever be a family that always has each other’s back. The experience was not always the most pleasant, but the unpleasantness is in a facilitated and protected environment was crucial to a deeper understanding.
Ansh is starting Masters of Public Health at the University of Miami. He is going to co-lead Cam Tra Con 2014 planning.