It is the custom in Asia for women to defer to their husbands. Those unfamiliar with the culture will note women walk at a respectable distance behind their husbands whenever they’re seen together. It’s also surprising to a newcomer women don’t eat with their husband and his male friends, taking their food in relative obscurity of the kitchen; their holy domain.
While those not born in Asia may misunderstand these things, Asian society in history and sacred writings assign an important role to a woman. She’s a symbol of all that’s good, and Laxmi was a demonstration of that symbol.
Each day you’d see her trudging patiently to work, eyes averted modestly toward the ground. Evenings she’d march with her children to the bazaar, to replenish home supplies. She was infinitely patient as children darted around playing games and generally getting in the way. Once or twice she’d been at the clinic to have treatment for cuts and bruises, and it was an open secret her husband was responsible for those injuries.
Laxmi would shrug off questions and suggest she may have suffered wounds in her housecleaning activities. On holy days she’d be one of the first there, children safely deposited with teachers to learn good moral principles.
Laxmi was respected in the community.
Her husband was a firebrand. He felt his special assignment in life was to set people right when they strayed from his impression of the correct pathway, and he’d made himself very efficient in this self-appointed task. People would tread warily when he was around hoping he’d not be on a crusade against them.
Segments of the community were not as positive about the husband as they were about Laxmi.
Once in a while some brave soul would share with Laxmi community feelings about her husband. She’d smile and explain patiently he was a good man at heart, and his motives were pure. She’d dwell on his good points as a husband provider for the family, and make visitors aware of his achievements and work record.
Laxmi was a picture of loyalty and devotion, and those who came to her with complaints against her husband would leave the house confused, and a little ashamed of their criticisms.
Once in a while, if you were observant, you’d see a look of hurt and fear in her eyes after a personal encounter with her husband, but she was always patient, loyal and kind. No one would doubt this woman was doing all she could to model what the sacred writings described the ideal woman should be.
She longed for an environment entirely without suffering and fear she believed the after-life would bring. Her greatest desire was her influence would be the means by which her children would themselves model that after-life as she’d demonstrated it in her life.
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2015 All rights reserved”
This is not a description of any one case I’ve observed, it is an amalgam of several cases I’ve observed. The common denominator was an overbearing and brutal husband. Neither is this situation confined to Asia. There is ample example of brutality toward women in Western Societies too. The Hungarian word for wife roughly equates in English to “Other Self.” That was the original concept, a man and a woman together make a united team. Governments are today actively promoting a different set of values to what is practiced by too many men of this day.
Copyright: The above image courtesy of sojelrodsol.blogspot.com