A big warm welcome to you
Dear new friends of FUEL,
It might have taken one post, or several, for us to meet at this nook of the internet but either ways I’m delighted to host you here at the Project FUEL blog.
I apologize for the inactivity on the blog since our last post:“12000 life lessons from a man who has seen 12000 deaths”. We have been on a six-country-tour since then and are researching, accumulating and condensing some amazing new content to share with you. However, before I delve into new updates, I want to take a moment to tell you how thrilled I am to read the comments, emails and Facebook messages from people around the world sharing how the last post has impacted their lives. A guy from New Jersey has printed and pinned the lessons on his office wall, a 50+ man from Amsterdam has been inspired to plan a trip to India specially to visit Varanasi, and yet another amazing soul, from the Middle East, has decided against suicide upon reading the post.
Coming back to the six-country-tour: over a 100 days ago I set out on a voyage called ‘The Masterpiece Tour’ to study integration and document life lessons of refugees in Europe. Later, it extended to include Merit360, a fantastic program by the United Nations, that allowed me to work with 360 changemakers from around the world on one of UN’s sustainable development goals – quality education.
The last few months provided me time and space to evaluate my strengths, polish my skills, trust my instincts and build my tribe.
I grew up in a middle class family in the bylanes of Dehradun, India, with parents who may not have had the opportunity to dream big for themselves but ensured my sister and I did. They encouraged us to understand ourselves better and to serve the world. As I wrapped up the tour, one of the most epic phases of FUEL and my life , I couldn’t help but ask how I get to be this blessed. Really, how did I win this life?
After much contemplation, I think I know the answer. It get to be this blessed in life because I am heading in the direction of my purpose (we are always enroute), the foundation of which is built on the dreams I had for myself and the prayers others had for me. It is important to start on whatever you feel in the core of your being is your purpose, even if there are a very few people cheering at the start line.
After my session in a refugee camp (former prison) near Amsterdam, an Afghan refugee twice my age walked up to me and whispered, “I had lost all hope. But you make me believe in life all over again. I thank you for stopping by in my life.” For me, even if nothing good came out of this tour, those words would be enough to encourage me to keep doing what I do. I am a dreamer. And if you are one too, a young boy/girl growing up in the bylanes of fear and vulnerability, I want to say to you––be ambitious. The blueprints of your dreams are more important than any execution plans. They are the start! Once you lay the foundation, people will join in to build the structure. That is what happened in my case. I was audacious enough to share what I needed, audacious enough to share my dream, and people were kind enough to provide whatever they could.
In the last 100 days, I have met people from nearly 122 countries. What started on 5th of June in the Central Park of Gothenburg, Sweden concluded in the headquarters of United Nations, New York . It only validates for me that we should not put our glory on hold. Of course, there is immense exhaustion, sleepless nights and moments of self-doubt but I accept them as gracefully as I accept the soulful conversations, the sweet surprises and the rewards.
I am excited now, more than ever before, to run on and see what the future is going to be. And, of course, I am thrilled to share the experiences I had set out to collect for myself and for you – our believers. There are lessons coming your way that will knock your socks off. They will become melodies that will unburden your mind and rejoices your heart. But in the meanwhile, accept my gratitude for the parts each of you have played in this journey.
I am sharing below some excerpts from the tour to give you a sneak peek into what has been brewing.
I hope our lives continue to be filled with varied experiences and all the lessons we learn through them, along the way.
To God be the glory!
Love, Deepak Ramola
Video excerpts from the tour:
Meeting Mohamed (Keeping hope alive)
Meeting Ibtisaam (Playing it right)
Meeting Khaled (The power of a smile)