How are you? Never Give Up. / by Leonardo Antonio Avezzano

In June 2012 I went to Nepal. Well, actually I planned a trip in Tibet, but one month before to fly  there I received an email from China stating that the border was closed and I couldn't access.

I was in the middle of a turnaround in my life. I was changing job, moving to another country, changing a lot of things, a lot. Probably was a sign: just don't go, think, prepare yourself for this new phase in your life. But I couldn't accept to give up to my trip. So, since my flight was booked in Kathmandu, I decided to go in Nepal.

One day I was walking in the Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, fantastic atmosphere incensed by lemon tea, pilgrims, and monks. I was feeling this power of calm and compassion. Totally the opposite of my state of mind: busy, lost, worried and excited for my new life, but still "busy".

I was trying to shoot a pic of a monk that was turning around the Stupa, praying and smiling at me that I couldn't find the right "click". He came to me, smiling, and he asked: "how are you?".

I answered a polite "I'm fine, thank you. and how are you?". He didn't answer my question, instead, he asked again "how are you?". "I'm fine, thanks, I'm really happy to be here, is a fantastic place. am I disturbing you, or those people?".

The monk asked again "H-O-W A-R-E Y-O-U?". I understood...he caught me; I had to confess. "Well, I'm "busy"; I'm in a middle of a storm of feelings, fears, excitement. I feel to say sorry, I feel to run away, I feel that I don't belong to any places; why do you ask? what do you think?".

He didn't answer my question. He told me "Do you know how we catch monkeys? We put peanuts in a jar. They know that peanuts are in the jar, they smell it. They cannot catch the peanuts from outside, their arms are not long enough. They know that once in the jar will be quite difficult to go out. Well, some of them know the value of freedom, never give up".

He embraced my wrist, smiled again and then he left. I was frozen. I was thinking about those words. the same morning I read in a cafe "never give up" and I liked that statement, without knowing why. I was frozen, thinking, thinking and thinking.

Suddenly I saw again the monk turning the stupa. I took my camera and I shot the picture. I got it, he's smiling, I'm smiling. "thank you, I will never give up".

Never give up, I will never give up. I repeat that story to myself every day that I wake up. I am still "busy", but I will never give up, never.

“NEVER GIVE UP" - Dalai Lama
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up”