Honour killing in countries across is common, where a member of a family (or a community) believes the victim has brought dishonour upon the family, community or the society and take matters in their own hands by ending the victim`s life. That way, they`ll “regain” their honour and can move on with their lives. Qandeel Baloch was killed by her own brother at her parents` home. As some of you already know, I`ve been watching “Baaghi” recently, which is a Pakistani drama serial based on Qandeel Baloch`s life. She was a social media star. A free spirited soul, a rebel with a cause who set out in search of success and hope for a better life, a small town girl with big dreams, much could be said about her. She chose to live according to her own terms, terms which came with a heavy price.
I watched the last episode again today and cried as if I was seeing it for the first time. I`m not going to write a lot about how much I love the serial or what it has done to me, I just want to share some words. I want to share the epilouge which got me thinking and hopefully got thousands of others thinking, as well. Because the questions asked are so legitimately, they`re so vulnerable and they`re so honest. Like Mevish Javed said: “Baaghi ended with a soul gripping epilogue that questioned societies misjudgements, a real tear jerker for sure. It had me feeling numb, heartbroken and distraught. This is the society we unfortunately are part of, a society that judges without understanding, a society that points fingers not realising 3 point back to them, a society that fails to realise you should fault the sin not the sinner. Qandeels actions may have been wrong, bold and judged but her intentions were to use the platform her situations created in order to provide for her poor family, despite having 6 brothers she became the man of the house.”
The epilouge was “Qandeel`s” voice, and here`s what she said (note that it`s my translation). Keep in mind that Qandeel was killed because she was, according to the society, bad and destructive for it:
“False honour and public frauds have taken the lives way too early of so many Qandeels like me. The right of handling and changing myself which God had given to me, was taken from me. I was bad for the society, a threat to people`s ethics. Despite how I was, I`ve left your world.
Without giving any explanations and without defending myself, I just want to ask this: the evilness has come to an end now, right? I mean, people`s ethics survived. What about the society? What happened with it? Is the society alright now? Hmm?”
Recently I`ve been thinking a lot about what it`s like to give so much to others who don`t see what you do for them. What it`s like to keep giving to people who don`t even give half as much back. God, it`s a feeling that hurts you to the bones. It makes you feel empty, it makes you feel like an idiot for being so nice to other people who don`t even appreciate it even though being kind isn`t negative. And yet you let it go the next day, put up a smile and act like nothing. Not because you`re not strong enough to confront the person, but because you tell yourself excuses and convince yourself he or she cares. Or that it`s okay, doesn`t really matter, let it be. Maybe it`s just how they are, maybe they have their own ways of showing that they care. Then, the next time you realise the people you care so much about don`t really care that much about you, you`re hurting. Again. Or maybe you always were hurting, but the fake smile did its magic.
I`ve been realising how certain people would rather cause drama and make issues out of little things, rather than fix them and try to be more understanding towards people. And I`ve been sad because I`ve been more aware of how some people just don`t care as much as I do. They won`t do the things you do for them. They`ll just take and take and take, and you`ll be left with… nothing? Oh, God. I don`t know. I just know that that`s where I`m not right now and I`m not going to allow myself to be there either, but it hurts. Everything would`ve just been easier if we were nicer towards each other, really.
“What is it?”, she says.
I`m sitting at the couch. The black couch. It`s not my first time here, yet it feels like it`s the first time. Everything has changed.
I`m looking down at hands. That`s the easiest thing to do. I didn`t know my nails look so weird. I tell myself to paint them red when I get home.
“I`m asking you something – what is it?”
There`s a lot I want to say, but I don`t want to. I guess the saddest thing is that sometimes it easier to say nothing. Not everyone knows how to fix something that`s broken anyways, so what`s the point.
“How am I supposed to know when you`re not telling me anything?”
As if you`re supposed to know anything, I think to myself. I don`t say anything. Of course I don`t. I trusted you once, I`m not trusting you again. I shared my secrets with you. Nobody knew them, but you weren`t nobody so I shared them with you. With fear and hope dancing with each other, I shared them. And oh, dear. I regret it too much.
“Don`t you trust me?”
“Would you trust someone who`ve broken your trust once?
I can tell my words hit her. Hard. She doesn`t know what to say. That`s what I wanted.
“I`ll tell you absolutely everything, I`ll share my secrets with you all over again only if you are able to break a plate and put it back together to exactly what it was. I don`t care how you do it, as long as it goes back to the way it was before. ”
She`s staring at her nails. Now it`s her time to study her nails. They look far better than mine, by the way.
“Do you get it now?”
♥ You`ll never be able to please everyone. Doesn`t matter what you do, doesn`t matter who you are. Pleasing everyone is a mission you`ll never be able to complete. You could be the nicest person on earth and someone would still criticize you. You could be talking about bullying and someone would say “don`t you care about the poor children in Africa?” You get it. This doesn`t necessarily mean they have something against you personally but you still won`t be able to satisfy everyone, so you might as well just keep doing your own thing.
♥ Don`t judge someone, because you might not know their story. Most of us have perhaps their this one, but it really is so true. Just think about all the things you haven`t really told anyone, that you have been through? I`ve been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since I`ve been watching “Baaghi”. It`s a Pakistani drama serial based on a true story. Qandeel Baloch was a Pakistani social media star and she was considered a threat to the Pakistani society, because of her “bad moral and behaviour”. People were threatening her, calling her ugly names and telling to “go and die”. Not long after she was killed by her own brother. But who knew Qandeel`s story? I believe it was not up to us to judge her, but also: who actually knew her? Who knew she supported her family economically? Or the things she had to go through because of more powerful people in the show business and media? I`m glad more people have been like “I didn`t know this about Qandeel” because THAT is the point. What do we actually know about each other? It actually makes me sad – I mean, the person right in front of you could have gone through some of the most awful things ever and you couldn`t even know. Everyone has something they don`t talk about that, which I believe is important to think about.
♥ It`s not about blood – it`s about love. Enough said.
♥ Not everyone in your life will see or appreciate your kindness, but that doesn`t mean you shouldn`t be kind. Not everyone will appreciate the nice things you do or have done for them, but that doesn`t mean there`s something wrong with you.
♥ It`s important to take care of yourself, because at the end of the day you might not have anyone else by your side but you`ll always have yourself and your own head. Eat enough, drink enough water, get enough sleep. Go out for a walk and get some fresh air. Have healthy and good relations in your life that bring you up. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.
♥ Perhaps the most important one: CHILL! Everything happens for a reason.
Something that`s been annoying me for a while, is the beauty standard in the society. They say natural is the best, but the society makes fun of people without make-up, people who`re not wearing clothes that are trending now and people who don`t have the “perfect” body.
As if that`s possible to achieve.
I believe each and one of us were given a brain so we could think. Think about our lives and the decisions we make. I believe we chose whether we want to get affected by the beauty standards in the society or not. That doesn`t mean it`s easy, but if we were to point fingers at other people for how we feel what we think of ourselves we`d be pointing forever.
Yeah, maybe someone made you feel bad about the way you look, but don`t give them that power and don`t allow yourself to dislike yourself. Don`t use make-up to look pretty in front of everyone else. Don`t wear particular clothes just because you know it will make other people happy. Feeling bad about a comment is different than to actively make decisions based on what the society thinks of you. You can live with a stranger not liking you but you disliking yourself is much harder to live with.
I`m not going to say “be you, that`s enough” because we`ve all heard that a million times before. Instead I`m going to tell you this: you`re you and there`s only one of you in the whole world. There`s nobody on earth who`s just like you and nobody looks like you. Take advantage of that. Take advantage of your flaws and strengths. Of course we want to look pretty, we all want to be beautiful but bigger lips or the “perfect” body won`t make you happy. Imagine that you had a twin who looked pretty much just like you. Would you tell him or her “you`re ugly?” Or would you tell your best friend that they don`t look good? No? Then why do we keep scolding ourselves for not being good enough?
Do things that make you happy on the inside. Work on yourself. And remember to treat yourself the way you want others to treat you. Because if it`s true that we want others to love us for who we are, we should love ourselves harder and better.
Two days ago I was at this event about human rights. In the end the audience was asked what we should do, to maintain the human rights and work harder to follow them. I thought I`d share what I (ca.) said, because I believe it`s important:
I think it`s important that we are there for each other and see each other. We can`t allow to tell ourselves that other people`s problems are not our problems, because if we`re not going to help each other, who are?”
We have had some new rules in the house for some time now. One of them is that we`ve divided the grocery shopping between them. So, some weeks it`s my turn to mainly buy bread and milk, but also others things we need. Today I went to buy some bread. Like always, I cut it inside the shop in one of these bread machines, and guess what I met?
This isn`t something new and it annoyes me every time. Yep, people have thrown fresh bread slices in the dustbin. I don`t know what the shop does with it, but it saddens me how we allow ourselves to just waste food. And this is food we can actually eat! Most of it is FRESH bread. I`ve seen this a lot of times in other shops, as well. Dustbins full of bread slices. We throw so much food, it`s crazy. According to some data, about 100 000 breads are wasted every day here in Norway. Also, each Norwegian throws an average of 42,1 kilos of full edible food yearly. The consumers throw the most of it. We throw a total of 355,000 tons of food every year. That`s enough food for about 5 millions people (Norway`s population is ca. 5,2 millions, you do the math).
It makes me sad when I read or hear about hunger in other countries and how they`re not getting food or water, because we have enough food for everyone on the planet plus much more. Still, there are little babies that are malnourished because… well, perhaps academics and politicans would give a more “political correct” answer, but who cares about that – the truth is still that the food isn`t divided fairly – some people have less because others have more.
But really – if you can`t share your food with anyone, at least don`t throw it in the dustbin.