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Thursday, February 1, 2024

One shouldn't just hope to be treated well: one must insist on it.

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Abraham Verghese

This excerpt comes from bestselling author Abraham Verghese’s 2023 novel “The Covenant of Water,” which spans seven decades, three familial generations, and the multitude of soaring highs and devastating lows experienced throughout. In this particular passage, an aspiring physician, Mariamma, is reckoning with her aggressive response to an instructor’s sexual advances. She doesn’t regret her rage and recognizes her innocence in the matter, deciding then and there to not only wish for equitable and respectful treatment but to demand it. Mariamma’s sentiments can be translated to many other facets of life, traumatizing or not, as a call for all of us to be our own strongest advocates. Hopeful optimism has its merits, but Verghese’s words remind us that we can’t always rely on the assumed goodwill of others. We have to be the ones to demand the respect, honor, and love from others that we deserve.

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