Self Respect

Sunita Giri 10:00 PM |

Growing up in an environment which is regarded as a deprived children by most people is almost not that important, than; the the one that is associated with mental deprivation of real growth. Trust me, we did not lack food on our plate. There was always food, decent food on our plate than most people thought we could have. If the food was not decent enough to eat, its not that there was lack of money but because there were people who saw opportunity to make money out in the name of the destitute, needy and underprivileged. I hope you must have read my earlier post, Greed has no depth. I may not have been aware of the fact, when I was eating the soggy and smelly rice when I was in Bal Mandir but what Madam Shrestha revealed was shocking to me when I grew up. For that, I have to request you to read that post.

But here, I am not talking what we used to eat and what kind of food we were given to eat. Today when I am full grown, I have no complain to the kind if food we were given to eat during my stay in Bal Mandir. I have learned by now, that we are not what we eat. We are what we think and our thought is shaped by what we read, but how can we change our perception about our-selves when we are surrounded by the very people who are so cozy and comfortable with humiliation and disrespect ? Such was the cultural environment in Bal Mandir.

At some point, I thought that the staff, mainly the junior staffs used to treat us roughly and with so much disrespect, I mean verbal abuse was really really harsh. Now when I look back and travel in my memory lane I came to the age to understand, once we grew up; they no longer needed to treat us roughly. Did I say grow up ? we were we were in our pre-teen years and the teen years it was the children who were using the same kind of language to each others and they did not needed adults to treat us that badly.

In a time when I was not accustomed to the world outside which used word like dignity, self respect, self-worth, confidence, lack of confidence and inferiority complex it was not easy for me to request my friends how to treat me and give me respect. So when one of my friend started feeling comfortable calling me nasty word like ‘Kukurni’, I was totally lost; how to tell her to treat me with respect.

Its not that she was the only one who used to feel at ease using foul nasty words . But for others a stern look and good snap did the work. But this friends of mine was as stubborn as I am, so was not easy to deal with her. To make the matter even worse she was my best friend for long time and was in my class and we had shared the same bench for years. It sure was not easy for me to tell her, how not to feel comfortable to call me with word like ‘Bitch’ !

This is a commonly used word and most of the young girl who heard it, seemed to have no objection but me. This acceptance by many and resentment by minority, which happened to be just me, added her confusion. But I was determined to stop her to call me that word and feel comfortable with it also. So, I stood face to face  with my dear friend  Junkiri to stop her not to call me ‘Kukurni’. I was not in a position not in mental condition to help her understand these things and not to call me ‘Bitch’ ! but she would not listen.  

How can I convince her about all this, when I myself was not sure about how I was expecting her to treat me with respect ? In that condition all I did was to avoid talking to her because more I requested more she felt challenged and then felt easy to call me ‘Bitch’.

Having no option I just  stopped  talking to her. At this moment I really don't know how long  I did not talked to her, but; I do remember long enough to make her realize that I have zero tolerance to this word and not going to be accept it, even it coming from my close friend; who grew up with me and who was my roommate as well as classmate.

Would she have given me the due respect had I told her about the  self-respect, dignity and the self worth ? But the question is how when I myself was not aware of these fancy words. when I was still surrounded by people from Bal Mandir who are alien to such words. But this taught me that we should not wait others to give us respect all the time sometimes we have to set the bar for us and then make them treat us with respect, even if they refuse to do it. All you have to do is to figure it out how !

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