I’ve never been to Kerala and I don’t know much about Kerala. A place, known as “God’s own country” since the 1980ies, when the Kerala Tourism Board started using this phrase for marketing purposes. And now, with their latest campaign, they’re focusing on what it means to be “human by nature”.
I want you to pause – just for one moment – and think about this.
What does it mean when we say “human by nature”?
How do you want humans to be?
Now, that you’re still reading, you’ve either watched the video or you just wanted to know what I will say next.
And I must say, their video got me. It touched me. It made me feel good. It gave me a feeling of hope for humanity.
If you haven’t watched the video: stop reading. Watch it. And then continue reading. I promise you’ll want to see it if you’ve been reading until here.
To find magic in the everyday and eternity in the ordinary
Did you learn anything about Kerala through watching the video? Do you know their local dishes and the names of its mountains? Do you know any name of any city or a route you could take while you’re there?
It invited you to speak with no words and to listen from the heart. It invited you to experience moments, to be present with the flow of life and to connect deeper with all there is. It invited you to feel Kerala. Not only to think about it.
Is Kerala a place where all these dreams came true? To live in peace with each other and nature? I want to meet the people of Kerala, who seem to live in harmonious co-existence with nature, different ideologies, cultures, and faiths, that came together through the vibrant history of Kerala. I want to learn from them, how they found their very own way of living together.
I want to travel down the backwaters, that comprise a network of canals, lagoons, rivers, and lakes a short way inland from the ocean. Watching village life float by, watching the people living in the present moment and enjoying the flow of life. I want to taste the food that’s typical for Kerala, get lost on spice markets and learn more about the different cultures and traditions. I want to feel my heartbeat in time with the waves.
I want to believe in fearless minds, I want to celebrate every living thing and I want to spot wild elephants and trek through the elevated mountain scenery. I want to chill in an artsy cafe in the corner of a busy street. I want to clear my body, mind, and soul through ayurvedic therapy.
I want to see a sunrise on a misty morning from a hilltop tea plantation. I want to walk the ancient streets and get a glimpse into courtyards full of life and laughter. I want to talk to men, women, children and ask them what it means for them to be human by nature. Hear their stories about the divine in the ordinary and the ordinary in the divine. I want to be swept away by the waves of joy at the beaches of Kerala, I want to find out why so many travelers come here to stay for days and then stay for weeks or months.
I want to explore Kerala as a human and I’m wondering how divine it will feel.
And if you ask me, what it means for me to be human by nature, how I want humans to be, then I will say this:
I want us to connect, to reach out, to see each other. To be with each other. To support each other and hold each other. I want us to love each other, understand each other, grow together.
I want us to open our eyes to the miracles this universe is gifting us in every moment.
I want us to hear the sound of our heartbeats united as one.
I want us to feel safe with each other. And loved. Knowing that we’re all reflections of each other.
I want us to dance on the streets and giggle with the innocent playfulness of a child.
I want us to be still with each other. Listening to the breeze dancing with the trees.
I want us to feel. Feel the pain we share and hold it in our love.
I want us to feel. Feel the questions we share and offering answers.
I want us to feel.
How it feels to be alive and how it feels to catch a raindrop with your tongue.
I want us to talk.
Talk about the thoughts that keep us awake at night and the dreams we wake up from crying.
I want us to see.
See the love there is in every day and every night.
I want us to taste.
Taste the bittersweet confusion of peace and taste the pure essence of clean water.
I want us to know.
Know that we’re in this together and that we’re safe.
I want us to be soft with each other, kind and tender. I want us to be real with each other, vulnerable, open.
I want us to be present with each other. Really see each other. Really be there with each other. Falling in love with every moment. With the unpredictable messiness. The unimaginable magic. The unbearable lightness of being. The nourishing chaos of existence. I want us to fall in love with the answers and to fall in love with the questions. Cheering each other on. Loving each other fiercely. Allowing each other to be ourselves with each other. I want us all to connect to that deep ocean of infinite love that’s waiting inside each one of us to wash away all fear, all pain, all confusion. I want us to celebrate the fact, that we actually made it, we walked each other home. We’re here now. Here. Now. Home.
Is this too much to ask for? Or is this, after all, human by nature? To have hope?
Aren’t we all divine by nature?
What does it mean to you to be human by nature?
- Sometimes I get paid to do things I enjoy doing. It’s part of the infinite surprise party the universe is throwing for me. In this sense: much gratitude for the Kerala Tourism Board which inspired me with their campaign “human by nature” – a message about humanity, the power of nature, the possibility of inclusiveness and the magnificence of ordinary lives. Thank you for paying me to write this article.