Awhile ago, I received one of those forwarded emails with inspirational messages on the wisdom of life. It was an analogy of an egg, a carrot and a tablespoon of coffee, how each of them changed when put in a pot of boiling water for a period of time.
The egg became hard, the carrot soft and the coffee burst into an aromatic flavour. The message teaches you about how each and everyone of us become when put under the pressure and heat of life. depending on your personality or character. I would like to think of myself as the coffee, rising up to the occasion and bringing pleasure to others when confronted with adversity. Unfortunately, I am not. I’ve come to realise that I am an egg.
When I first met my husband, I remember how quickly we entered into an intense conversation about who we are. My parting words to him was, “I am no longer a nice person. I’m a bitch.” After years of failed and disappointing relationships, I’ve decided that I will no longer remain as the doting doormat that gets trampled on.
More recently, I have been told that Somaly Mann, the founder of Afesip, a Cambodian NGO working on the protection and rehabilitation of victims of forced prostitution, has expressed her frustration towards some of the rescued women who have apparently fall in love and got married to men who are unemployed and depend on them for their livelihood. She has apparently advised the girls not to jump out of a frying pan and straight into a fire.
When I first heard this, I couldn’t help but posed the question, “why?" I am simply amazed by some of these women’s ability to love and trust after what they had been subjected to. If I had been forced into prostitution, not only will I lose faith in humankind, I don’t think I will ever have the ability to love, much less serving another man who can’t even take care of me.
One of my Cambodian colleagues explained that Cambodian women take pride in serving and taking care of their family. It is seen as the ultimate responsibility and sacrifice. He added that this is one of the virtues which make Cambodian women the preferred life partners for many foreigners.
I just thought to myself, are these women the epitome of what defines a woman? If yes, don’t they deserve a real man? I don’t judge them but in fact admire them for their ability to love unconditionally.
I’ve met very few people in my life who manage to preserve that innocence and unwavering faith in the good of mankind despite what they have gone through. I have a friend who endured an abusive marriage and yet was able to find love again. She often questions my cynicism towards people and it’s frustrating for me to see her positivism.
For what it’s worth, I believe that everyone deserves a second chance at happiness and it is up to you to find it or not. And if you don’t, perhaps the question to ask is, what are you worth?