This story is part of a series: Unspoken Saga (Part-7) Unspoken Saga (Part-6) Unspoken Saga…..
Having lived in the United States for 22 long years, I have deviated a lot from some of the family, social customs, beliefs, and culture of my homeland. I gained an experience that Individuals often find differences in temperament, behavior, thinking, and expression; especially in my community. I have to deal with them a lot of the time. But I try not to hurt anyone’s feelings and beliefs. But that is not always possible. I also need to talk about my lousy side before discussing others.
One day an acquaintance of mine asked a question with some annoyance about my first and middle initial name. He said, what is HB refers to? Could it be someone’s name?
I got angry. I said, no! ‘HB’ cannot be anyone’s name. It is the name of the devil but my choice. I can keep my name squash, pumpkin, bottle, Cockroaches, whatever I want. I have that freedom. Thank you.
I realized that the man was shocked to hear such an answer. It was not my intention to hurt him. I just expressed myself. I have freedom of speech. Instead, he has no right to ask misleading questions about other people’s names.
I always try not to ruin the environment by establishing freedom of speech. Freedom of speech, in the case of defamation, slander, obscenity, or the use of offensive language, invariably interferes with and hurts the freedom of others. Therefore, we need to limit freedom of speech through our considerations. But the way I treated the man that day also interfered with his freedom.
However, there was a reason why I hurt the man that day. I was under a lot of pressure at work that day. Maybe I was not in a good mood because of that pressure. I was overwhelmed, and that’s why I put my stress on him. However, it was not right for me to do that; it was a gross injustice. I could politely tell him that HB means Hajera Begum.
In many cases, the expression of our anger is to use negative words to comment. Every day we use words like mental, retarded, autistic, crazy, handicapped as abusive words in anger. But are we aware of the true meaning of these words? Do we realize that using these words can hurt a person with actual mental distress or a person with a disability who can hear or reach out to someone in their family? We have no right to hurt others. I think, using of these words in anger not only reflects our educational inadequacies but also our depraved sense of humanity and conscience.
The term ‘mentally retarded’ was once used in the United States for people with mental illness. This word has been illegal for many years, and the term ‘mentally challenging’ is used for someone in a mental crisis. Notice the difference between hearing the words ‘mentally retarded and mentally challenged’ in diagnosing a similar crisis.
Many of us are unaware that there is a difference in the use or hearing of words or sentences. We say things without knowing how they might affect others!
One day, I went to a party after many years. I met many people. Meanwhile, a familiar woman came running and grabbed my hand. She began to say, ‘Oh no! See what has happened to the eyes! What I saw two years ago, and what I see today! What are these on your feet? May Allah have mercy on you. Do you need food, don’t stand, sit, sit in the chair. ‘
I know she said the words out of compassion for me, not to hurt, but I was injured. Firstly, she has shown my physical condition to many people by showing sympathy. Secondly, she has reminded me that my body and skin color have changed, my former beauty is being lost, and thirdly, she has discouraged me from fighting my current condition.
However, not all attitudes or expressions are the same. Understanding this is also a positive feature of one’s personality.
It is also wrong to throw someone into a specific category based on their outward behavior or expression without knowing them completely, that is, to determine someone’s characteristics or skills.
Every human being learns the ways of speaking, thinking, and expressing from the family environment in their personal life. And at some point in life, all of us become involved in the battle of life, wherein, one way or another, stress affects us. And that stress certainly affects a person’s behavior. It can be positive or negative.
And so it is also wrong to make a negative impression or make negative comments in all difficult words, relying only on external behavior without knowing the whole of the person.
Having been in exile for a long time, I have mastered one more politeness. That is, saying ‘thank you, ‘sorry’ at least 20 times a day. However, sometimes there are problems with the use of those words. Someone frequently considers the use of the word ‘sorry’ to be a weakness. Again some people get annoyed with the frequent use of the word ‘thank you. One day someone close to mine said, ‘Why do you apologize to me so many times? Thank you? Am I not your relative? No apologies, no thanks for close relatives repeatedly.’
I didn’t know what to say to the person. It may not have been possible for me to explain that these two words play a very positive role in making every day beautiful and smooth.
We live in a foreign country. We have adopted many civilizations and cultures of foreign countries due to the demands of time. But politeness, how much civilization we were able to take, is also a question.
The way foreigners speak is entirely different. They never start talking with instructions or opinions. Any of their words have the words’ please, may I, Can you, Do you mind, modesty or request. These habits are infrequent among my community.
Our daily practical words are prudent to keep ourselves, family, society beautiful and healthy.
It should be used selectively because it affects others in both positive and negative ways. One of our only negative comments can ruin a person’s personal life and day. In all cases, a positive and encouraging comment can boost the morale of others and create a healthier culture, and can make even more difference in someone’s life that we may never even know.
The tone and attitude of our speaking to the person next to us reflects, and everything around us affects. It can make a considerable contribution to our success or failure in both our personal and social life. So, we need to think before we speak.
Anyway, what did I start with, and where did I end up! There is a new problem nowadays. I lost the topic while talking; I get on the bus and lose the destination. This problem has started since the transplant. Now I can’t do more than one thing at a time. I almost forgot to spell my name sometime. Oh, Lord!
A close friend of mine, Michelle, a New York psychologist and mental health counselor, often tells me, ‘Life is minimal. Spend every moment of it happily. Have a positive attitude towards yourself and others. Avoid negative ones because negative people will ruin your mental health! Mental health protection is important to live a healthy and beautiful life.’