There really is purpose in this jewelry!–A story from India through the eyes of Stephanie

It’s not just a necklace… I know this but I often forget.  I get lost in the chaos of the day to day; of trying to meet production goals while keeping everyone positive and motivated.  Then something so simple happens it almost passes me by.  It wasn’t until this morning while brushing my teeth that I noticed the complexity of that darn Peacock Feather Necklace.

For the girls here at iSanctuary India the Peacock Feather Necklace is a breeze to make- that’s why I gave it to Tulsi*.  She had been working hard and I thought she would have no problem with it.  But within minutes of getting the model in her hand the complaining started: “I’m confused,” “I don’t understand.” “Give me a different necklace.”  It must have gone on for an hour.  Finally, Shamla*, a fellow jewelry maker sitting beside Tulsi said that she will trade necklaces with her.  Tulsi turns to me so excited and said, “I can trade, Didi [sister]?” I thought for a moment; not to give her hope but because around here ever action seems to have such extreme consequences. I knew she had the ability to make the necklace so there was no reason that she shouldn’t try, so I told her no.  Tulsi’s disappointment was obvious! Shamla asked me why.  Another girl, Mangala*, explained to everyone listening that the day before, Archana*, whom after making just one necklace got bored of that model and asked for a new one and Stephanie told her no.   At this point Tulsi realized it was futile to continue her persistence, she returned to her work station frustrated and determined to use the silent treatment on me.  But little did Tulsi know, I have worked up quite an immunity to the silent treatment so I went about my business.

Later in the evening, once everyone was gone, Sunita and I did our routine check-in to ensure that we were both up to date on what occurred during the day.  I told her about the situation with the peacock necklace and Tulsi.  Sunita said she had just heard about it from Tulsi before she left.  Tulsi had apparently got so upset after I wouldn’t let her switch necklaces that she went into the bathroom and cried.  But then, Tulsi said, after crying everything became clear, the frustration was gone and she was able to make the necklace.  Which explained why she went home with a smile on her face!

Nice story but it gets better when you understand what I realized this morning:

Tulsi: she has been growing stronger and more beautiful every day.  She is actively striving to develop herself from a damaged/acting out child into a lady.  She really proved she is making great progress!!!

Archana: recently returned and needed to know that I wasn’t just being hard on her.

Shamla: is trying to (among other things) push the boundaries and see where my limits are.

Mangala: has been showing signs of leadership…apparently she is watching and learning how it’s done…I hope I am setting a good example

Stephanie:  needed to remember that there really is purpose in this jewelry!

* Names have been changed


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