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I used to have dreams of saving the world, joining others who were leading the charge to bring humanity into a bright, new future. Those dreams came crashing down almost two years ago, and I have since been rocking in an ocean of aimlessness. It’s experiences like Kolkata that brought those dreams down. Then again, maybe the foundation was shaky to begin with. In Kolkata, with the help of a true love, perhaps I am starting to find a new foundation.

The need in Kolkata is vast, farther than the eye can see. Almost 8 million people live here. Kalighat has 50 beds for men. Mother Theresa’s work (and the ongoing work of Missionaries of Charity, which I contributed to last week) was but an ineffectual drip released from a giant reservoir of need. Maybe that’s the point. This one, whose bed I sit on and emaciated hand I stroke, matters. Forget the 8 million. All we have is 50. Forget the 50. All I have is this one.

Ironically, if everyone acted that way, perhaps we would save the world and lead humanity into a bright, new future. But again, maybe that’s missing the point.