Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician

Short stories, Travel and Health Information

Lessons Learned on the Camino de Santiago

1a_A_A_FrontCoverPhotoOne of the most important lessons that can be learned by all of us who walk the Camino is Tolerance.

Most of us who undertake the Camino come from situations in life which are quite different to the Camino. At home, we do not have to walk for days on end and carry our daily requirements in a backpack – nor do we need to seek food and shelter in foreign places of accommodation and in the homes of those we know not. While walking this path, we are called upon to share the Way – and the tables, eating places, bathrooms and bedrooms we require – with folk who we would not normally associate with in our day to day lives.

Some of these people that we meet are those whom we recognise as kindred spirits. We take to them – and they to us – thus making the journey more pleasant and meaningful. Fortunately, most pilgrims on the Camino find that the majority of those they meet, since we are all united with a common sense of purpose, make very pleasant companeros who enrich our journey.

There are others we meet, however, who even by the most charitable description, we find rather trying,

As we wend our way towards Santiago, we have to either walk in a state of annoyance – or else develop the ability of getting along with these people and not allowing their behaviour to evoke anger and animosity within us..

And this is where the Camino teaches us Tolerance.

Tolerance of those who snore and those who wake up at 4 am and rustle their plastic bags, Tolerance for those who whinge and whine as well as those who extol their virtues and physical fitness, Tolerance for those who try to shove their religious views in your face as well as those who belittle others’ beliefs, Tolerance for those who babble on like Tennyson’s brook without pausing to hear what others may have to say, Tolerance for those who make insensitive comments as well as those who respond hastily and rudely…..

On the Camino, as in Life, we cannot change what happens around us .

We can only change how we respond to what happens ….


5 comments on “Lessons Learned on the Camino de Santiago

  1. Frank Castillo
    September 28, 2015

    Sanjiva, this is one of the lessons I hope to learn when I undergo my own passage along the Camino, in 2016. In the meantime, thank you for sharing your insights and pointing, ahem, the way for others to understand. Hopefully, the lesson will take and remain planted within! Pax Vobiscum, Frater!


  2. Thank you, Frank, for your words. I wish you a safe and meaningful journey next year.
    Ite in pace – Buen Camino!


  3. Ajith Tudugalle
    September 29, 2015

    Very interesting reading your experience on the Camino de Santiago walk, I am hoping to do this walk in late February 2016 from Porto with three others Tudda


  4. Pingback: Childhood’s End | Sanjiva Wijesinha

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