Respect is Earned

Respect is Earned.

These words came to me as I witnessed something a few months ago with a broken heart while I was at a children’s health clinic waiting for the pharmacy to dispense my kids’ medication;

“Treat our kids with dignity and respect, they are likely to return the favor” #BONDwBoL

“Dihormati tidak otomatis. Perlakukanlah anak kita dengan baik sebagai manusia utuh, mereka juga akan belajar menghormati kita” #BONDwBoL

by Lily Dawis, Jakarta, Indonesia.

A curious boy (about 6-7y.o) with humorous gleaming eyes went close to a receipt printing machine which has to be manually fed with paper before coming out with the printed details. I suppose the machine presents a little wonderful mystery for young kids, as my kids also asked me about it in previous occasions, as might other kids.

There was, however, a booming voice from a woman (assuming; she was the boy’s mother), “YOU! COME BACK HERE! DON’T YOU DISTURB the woman there (referring to the cashier sitting next to the machine)”

The boy obediently went away from the machine only to go to a corner while his eyes still riveted by the machine. Then he went back to the machine again, touching the edge of the machine tentatively, more screams and squeals from the woman “DON’T YOU DARE TOUCH IT! You (cashier), tell him he can’t do THAT! GOSH!”

Cashier (weakly) “don’t” (In the past, this same cashier was smiling and kindly gave my kids some papers as she looked on to the kids observing the machine’s workings curiously)

My heart cried silently, eyes fleetingly locked in silent helpless camaraderie with other bystanders, nurses, clinic staff, other kids, unsettled & confused by the unfolding drama. I tried to tell the boy, “there’s where the paper..” but the boy didn’t hear me, he kept moving trying to get a better angle to watch the machine.. with the woman’s screams punctuating his moves.

On and on for excruciating 5-7 minutes, when, the boy was then yanked from where he stood idly by the machine and told off yet again “CRAZY BOY! Why can’t you come back HERE!!!”

My voice caught in my throat as we all watched with horror the boy breaking free from her arm and dashed out of the building through the clinic’s glass door!

Halfway out, the woman actually closed the door on him and barricaded the door with her body so the boy could not go back in! “I DON’T CARE! STAY OUT! LET THE NUTCASES OUTSIDE EAT YOU ALIVE!!!!” The boy was in tears and tried to come back in begging… My heart raced in horror!

Expectedly, seconds later, as the boy was let in, he wailed INHUMANLY and was on the floor kicking about. The woman went on and on and on endlessly..

I was so sad but helpless, what to do in such a case, he was not hurt physically, but that got to be psychological and verbal abuse? Is there someplace we could call to report such things? What good would it do the boy?

Minutes later, he was called in into a special kid therapy room, his appointment?

I could not help but wonder though, is the kid the one really in need of therapy, or is it the woman?

Here’s hoping and praying that the boy shall find a supportive environment soon… 😦

**The author is a mother of 3 kids below 8.  She works, composes songs and writes children stories. Her first album; Bubbles of Love ( is the first and (4 years later) still the only album from Indonesia, by Indonesians, successfully registered in the United States Copyright Office. If you like what you read, please subscribe and feel free to share. Thank you for visiting and reading!**


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