Editors Note: I have a treat for all of you today A beautiful and heartfelt post by the ever beautiful Razwana Wahid. Read more about her at the end of this post. Her words move me as I am sure they will move you too :) Enjoy darlings!
Today, my heart is broken.
In so many different places.
But it doesn’t break for me.
It breaks for the neighbour’s daughter, who I’m told is only *allowed* to study until high school. After this she sits at home and waits for a suitor to marry. Because education will confuse her. And life experience will only open her eyes to opportunities that will take her away from her family. She’ll ruin their reputation.
As an 8 year old, her opinion wasn’t sought. She doesn’t know this is her future.
It breaks for my cousin. Who recently told me she would love to travel after she finishes her studies. But she won’t. Because her parents wouldn’t approve of it. And because ‘I’m not as strong as you to challenge them. So I’ll just wait until I’m married’.
It breaks for the daughter of a family friend, who chose to leave home at the age of 18, without telling her parents where she is. Are they worried? Yes. Do they consider why it is she didn’t say anything to them? The thought hasn’t crossed their minds yet.
All of this, I heard being back in the UK. Where freedom is a basic human right. By law.
I don’t see any freedom in the stories I’ve heard so far.
And whilst my heart breaks, my blood boils.
Why would a parent knowingly stop their daughter from being educated? If they’vee raised her well, why question the choices she’ll make? What is there to fear?
These are our daughters. They are our future. And we are suppressing them of their basic rights because of our own fears? Because of our own lack of experience? Or education? Or trust?
But alas. Anger serves no-one well. It’s a wasted emotion and a deceitful friend.
The situation calls for patience. The thoughts and misconceptions of an entire generation, with the lack of education or relevance of experience behind them, are not going to be changed overnight.
Patience: in the face of harsh judgement. Patience: in response to abrupt words that are born from naiveté. And patience because no situation is constant – and change will happen.
It calls for rebelliousness. The few that see how they can act differently? It’s their responsibility to risk their own mediocrity for the growth of others. And to lead the rest.
Every generation needs a handful of sacrificial lambs to forge the path for others. Their experience confirms an alternative is possible. Their selflessness leads the rest to higher ground.
And it calls for compassion. Because without this, the argument is already lost.
Compassion for misguided parents who don’t trust their own parenting skills. Compassion for ‘society’ that only knows how to conform. And compassion for yourself. Because if you’ve decided to be that sacrificial lamb, you’re gonna need a bucket load of it.
I was raised in a society overflowing with mistrust. Of the education system that would open up the minds of our children. Of different cultures that clashed with our own and were a threat. Of opportunities open to us that we had to resist, for fear of changing into someone we never thought we would be.
I wasted years being angry at all of this. I rebelled against the control others failed to have over me. I took decisions at the expense of family harmony. And I felt alone throughout all of this.
The irony of it all? It’s that the control, the judgement and mistrust has taught me what love is.
Love is acceptance. Acceptance of your choices, your opinions and of your uniqueness.
Because when you accept others, you start to support them, and encourage them, and be their person.
Perhaps the most difficult people to accept are those that have tried to take your freedom away. But remember the plea: be patient. Be compassionate. But also be a little rebellious.
The first two for them. And the third for you.
About the Author of this Post:
Razwana Wahid writes at Your Work Is Your Life,
a service dedicated to making your writing work better – to sell, to convert, to connect.
Read more at www.YourWorkIsYourLife.com or follow her on Twitter: @razwanawahid
What are your thoughts on this post? Do you agree with Razwana’s plea here? We would love to read your thoughts on this post in the comments below.
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With Immense Love & Gratitude,