Upon the implementation of MECQ in our town, our summer job turned out to be an online job--well it's not that hard since we just need to follow the given task. So, my day would normally be facing my laptop or phone to do the given task. During my free time--well we have a lot of free time actually, I would just either read some stories or stream Youtube.
While streaming, I encountered this short film that I used to watch when there were still classes but I haven't finished watching it yet since I have something to do at that time. Since I have all the time now, I watched it again. It is about a woman in a certain country (I would not include the name of the country anymore), who is being deprived of everything.
From the moment that she was still on her mother's tummy she was already rejected. Her parents wanted a son, so when the doctor said that their child is a female they couldn’t accept it. Though she was still born, she was soon abandoned. It pained me how she was put in a sack and thrown in the garbage like some dirty trash. Later on, a woman heard her cries and took her. I thought that she would finally have a family but the woman gave her to another woman in exchange for money. The woman who had her used her to beg for money from people.
The child grew up without a family, shelter, food, proper clothes, and obviously illiterate. She was also abandoned by the woman the moment she learned to walk. She was surviving by herself in the street begging for food or money and finding food from the trash. Years passed and she fully grew into a woman but her situation didn't change a bit. One time she passed this eatery and watched the people who were happily eating. The owner of the store noticed her and gave her food. At first I thought it was an act of kindness, but then the truth is there is something evil hiding behind that act. He raped her. She couldn't do anything but cry.
Weeks passed and she got pregnant, but I bet even she didn't know it. She comes back to that store and asks for food but the owner didn’t give her any and even pushed her away. Months passed and she gave birth. It was in the garbage site and no one even bothered to help her. She died right after the baby came out, then a woman took her baby leaving her cold body there. Maybe what happened to her will also happen to her baby as they say history repeats itself.
The film made me realize that even if I was born poor, I am still blessed in so many ways. I may be poor but I am richer than those people who don't have anything, just like the woman in the film. I may be born poor but there are so many things that I was grateful for.
First and foremost, I am very grateful for my family. Having a family is already a blessing, but having a loving and understanding family is beyond. I was grateful that even if I was born as a female, my parents accepted me wholeheartedly. I was grateful that we didn't have any tradition like only male should be born in a family.
I know something like this still exists even until now, that in the household, the child should be a male or the first born should be male. The movie was based on a true story so I know things like these exist. It is not a sin to be born as a female. Regardless of the gender, a child should be protected and loved by the parents.
My family isn't perfect, but I am way too grateful to be born and become a part of the family that I was in.
Next to the family is a shelter. Despite being poor, having a roof to protect you from the sun and keep you out of rain is also considered a blessing from above. I was also grateful that we have our own land and own house unlike others who have nothing but assembled boxes and tents on the side of the street.
But I guess boxes and tents are better than having nothing at all just like the girl in the film who doesn't have a family nor a shelter to sleep with. Having your family in boxes or tents is much better than having no one in a cold and dangerous street.
Having three meals a day is already considered as lucky for others, especially for the poor. Yes, we are poor but we are lucky enough to have three or more meals a day. We couldn't directly eat anything we wanted or eat in a fancy restaurant as we pleased but it is much better than sleeping with an empty stomach.
Unlike the girl in the film who begs people for money and food, and if no one will pity her she would find food in the trash. If she finds any then she is lucky but if she finds nothing then she will sleep again with an empty stomach just like her normal days.
Underwear, clothes, slippers or shoes are also considered as necessities. These things are what people need to survive in a day or gain confidence. They say that your clothes can also define who you are. For me, I don't think so. Because as long as you wear proper clothes that you are comfortable with then you can do the best of your ability.
Clothes can protect our skin from the sun's heat, like how a slipper or shoes can protect our feet from anything that can hurt our feet. Honestly, I only have a few clothes. But I have so many godparents and cousins who give me clothes at least twice or thrice a year. And if I had some extra money I would also treat myself with a piece or two. I am not really a materialistic woman but as long as I have something to wear and I am comfortable with it then I would be very grateful.
In this world, education can also be considered as a necessity. This is one of the things that I am grateful about, the right of education. I am grateful that I can learn the things that I wanted to learn, and I am very grateful that my parents are helping me out through the process.
Being educated gives us power. Not the power to own the world, but the power to protect ourselves. Being educated doesn’t exactly mean that you need a degree or a college diploma because I know some who are only a high school graduate but are more educated than those who have a college diploma.
However, basic education can protect or save us from the things or the people that might hurt us. Because if you notice, some people like to take advantage of you if you will let them. Remember that not everyone can be kind, some can be kind as a façade to hurt you.
Being respected feels great. I was grateful that I was born in such a family who provided me with shelter, clothes, foods, and education. Through these simple things, I earned respect and feel respected.
The moment that my parents accepted me is already a respect. They respect my right to live and have proper education. They respect my individuality. They respect me. And with that, I learn to respect myself too. That leads other people to respect me as well.
Respecting our every individuality is what we need. Regardless of our gender differences, respecting everyone is also like respecting God the creator, who makes everything. A child has the right to live and we should respect that. And every woman, regardless of any race or tradition, has the right to have a family who can take care of her and that alone should also be respected.
The last thing that I was grateful for is that I can freely dream for my future. For my future life and family. Plan for my kid's future and many more.
Though there are things that I regretted the most, there are happenings that I never imagined that could happen to me, and there are decisions that are worth to be forgotten. And if I would become a mother someday, the least I could wish for my child to experience is doing the same things I've done in the past, experiencing the things that I've experienced, and regretting the same mistake that I've regretted. The least I could wish for in the future is for history to repeat itself.
That is why I am very grateful that I can freely plan and dream for my future. Not just for myself, but for my future family and children as well.
As I finished the film, I remember what Mother Teresa said ‘We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. But the poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.’
Yes, I am poor but I am very grateful for having a family who loves and cared for me, a parent who accepted me, a place that protected me from the sun’s heat and keep me from the rain which I also called home, healthy foods that never makes me starve in my sleep, clothes than can cover my nakedness, education that can be a tool for me to protect myself, respect from my family and from other people, and a future that I can freely dream and achieve if I wanted.