“Ua Siab Ntev”

Ua siab ntev” is probably the most overrated phrase I have heard thus far and through times of difficulty. A lot of women in my community is always told this by family members, relatives, friends, you name it. No matter how much a woman may suffer, they are always told to “ua siab ntev” (be patient) and sometimes I wonder how long must they be patient enough for, for everything to become better.

No matter the problem or what goes on, we are always told this within the Hmoob community. I suppose it is the only “right” thing to say when times are difficult and there is nothing else that can be done or said except those three words, “ua…siab…ntev“. I am sure it has broken the hearts of many when trying to find the right form of comfort among all that goes on when everything seems so helpless. Of course it is the only form of logic that would make sense by remaining strong as possible. Yet those three words could either make us or break us. It is always one or the other.

In my opinion, the phrase strongly seems to associate itself with women among the Hmoob community. I also feel that women are always wrongly blamed for in many situations that they may have been a part of or involved in or not at all. Not only do women get put down among a certain community, but worldwide no matter the color of their skin, nationality, or what they do or do not do.

I am sure that no matter the situations women have undergone, I know many have only come out bigger and better. Their level of tolerance will no longer get in the way of things as they have endured so much and have only learned to overcome it with great dignity by learning to love themselves first and understanding their value. Once they have accepted themselves for themselves and the will to move forward with a strong mindset, believe it or not, they will become unstoppable.

As for the women who may still be in the dark looking for guidance, I hope they too will take control of the wheel and steer into the light. No person, women or men, should feel as if they are not good enough to be who they truly are because of someone or something. Never let the choices of others or things get in the way of who you are or yet to become. No one knows yourself best except you. No one can make you feel inferior except you. And no one can make you feel any less except you. Never forget who you are or of what you are yet to become. Only through self-realization will you become powerful of what you yourself know you are capable of.

To all my fellow Hmoob women, and women in general, you can never be too patient. When you feel as if things are not falling into place as you would like, do something. Never wait too long for the perfect moment to come as it may never come, who knows. If there is some sort of discomfort or difficulty, speak of it. Do not cope with it alone. Although we are told to “ua siab ntev” in many different situations, never let it be seen as if someone else has never been in your shoes. You never know what shoes you are wearing or what others have worn. Or may it be that we sail together in the same boat. Who knows.

There is nothing wrong with being patient or being too patient, but sometimes enough can be enough. Sometimes the fight may not be worth it anymore as the energy in an individual cannot be degraded any longer. To “ua siab ntev” is really up to you during times of difficulty and how you choose to deal with the problem(s). But in the end, patience is really what gives us hope no matter how we look at it. It is something we all know that will lead us to where we would like to be someday. Or it could be the last answer we are looking for to opening new doors.

So will you stay put and “ua siab ntev” waiting for the answers you are seeking or will you take charge when enough has become enough? You choose.


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