Oscar Wilde once said, “ If you know what you want to be in life you will inevitably become it, that is your punishment.”
Little does Oscar know in our parts of the world it is a luxury rather than a punishment. We aren’t allowed to be something as basic as a human being here. So if we wish to be just that and get it we would be more than thrilled. The pictures are of me coming back from Edinburg to Manchester Airport. My kids and I shared a similar feeling that my husband probably can’t share it with us, through no fault of his own. As soon as we landed in Manchester I was greeted with a very foreign yet extremely familiar and comfortable world. I bet my kids felt the same way.
This was the first trip they were taking outside the country as big boys. There is discrimination no doubt but there is also a sense of self for each individual. Treating every person as a person. That sense I think they had not felt before other than with family and friends. As a culture, we have a dismissive attitude towards children until they are, I don’t know 31 and with women…always. There, however, they were treated as they or every child of 9-10 wants. People said “excuse me” to them. They were asked to do little things like, “could you watch my bag while I run to the shop”. They couldn’t believe it. Sometimes they would literally look around wondering who is being spoken to because surely no one deems them worthy enough to stare at a bag for a few minutes.
For me, it was similar but mentally more gradual because I’m used to not thinking about it so much. This transition just kind of happens. I only noticed it on our way back and when we landed in Dubai. When I talked, no one listened and waited for the EXACT answer from my husband. When I asked a question there was no answer and they looked for my husband to approach so they could respond to him. I understood why I had dreaded coming back. Then I remembered all the difficulties I would have to face here in my day-to-day work and dealings with people. The way men and some women are with us.
How easy and comfortable the dealings are elsewhere. This made me think of the quote and I realized Mr. Wilde while a very intelligent man didn’t have it all figured out. Sometimes one dreams of achieving a very basic life goal, and once you get it it’s not a punishment at all. Not even a little bit. On the contrary, it is extremely satisfying.
You’re welcome to disagree.