Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Our Attitude Towards Our 'Helpers'

Servants, nannies, cooks, gardeners, gate keepers etc., how do we treat them all? Do we really think they are humans and should be given an equal place like any other living person? A very common scene when we go out to eat in any restaurant is that a family sitting on a table enjoying their food,and somebody sitting alone on another table either having food or just babysitting the mischievous kids. Don’t you ever think how do they feel sitting on the next table feeding your kids? How would you feel if you are made to do this? Not at all good, I am sure.

Many people give an excuse that people like ‘these’ deserve it. God made them like this or it’s their own fault that they are illiterate. There sure is a percentage of people who don’t study themselves but then there are many who cannot afford the expenses of getting educated. The thing is God did give them what He wanted but then ordered US, the privileged ones, to take care of them. God asked us to give them a fair share of our income and that’s not just like that; it’s in return of the services they provide.

What is our general attitude towards the people who work for us? I have never heard a living person praising his/her servant. What we always hear or say is what he does NOT do. Never heard anybody saying my servant is really good, helps me a lot, comes on time etc. Worse than that is, whenever you find anything missing at your place; you always blame it on them. Why do we always think that the poor will always steal and do bad things? Why don’t we take them as normal human beings? Many of them are much more honest than their masters who sit in the comfort of their offices and bribe or do other things like that to earn more money.

Let us think for a second, what if all these people stop working for us. Will a
man who ridicules his servant be able to ‘make’ his wife do all the daily chores what his servant used to do for him? Or will a woman will want to stay home, give a pause to her kitty parties and do all the stuff? If you think of all the possible things you will HAVE to do once all these domestic servants give up on you, you sure will be thankful to them. Accept the fact that they are more like helpers to us all.

There sure is an international labour's day but did we ever realise who enjoys that international holiday? Its US, we are the ones who sit home on that day. We are the labour to somebody too, I agree, but then they are too. Shouldn't they be given a day off too? Most of us make them do more work than any other day because that's when you are home and can make them do it, yourself. They work harder than most of us. They deserve it more.

It’s not just that the servants are verbally humiliated; many domestic servants are, physically and sexually, abused too. It just does not happen in Asia, but everywhere. It is a very common practice in the Middle East that the servants are ‘imported’ from their countries and then kept in the countries forcefully. They are not allowed to go back unless their masters allow them. They are not only beaten up by the adults but by the little kids too. Some of the stories of the worst torturing come out but many go unnoticed.

There are many things we can do for them. First and the foremost is, STOP thinking they are any less than you. They are equally human as you are, or maybe more. After that, you can help them now and again financially. We all know what we pay them as their monthly salary does nothing much for them. We can get them new dresses on special occasions or just give them extra money so that they don’t feel less privileged. We can get their children married. We all say they are illiterate, but then who is to be blamed for that? We have money, we can get our children educated from any institute we want but they can’t. Most of us can finance their children’s education quite easily, but we don’t. Did you ever think why? Maybe because we think that the ‘servant’s kid’ will grow up one day to compete ‘our kid’? Why don’t we make our kids competent enough instead of snubbing others' children?

Do you think that the things or money you have today will remain with you forever? Is there any surety that it will? I don’t think there is any. The bread winner of the family who you are so proud of today can, God forbid, die or get paralyzed. Or if not that, floods, earthquakes or any other natural calamity can wash away all of it for you. You never know where that can take you. If we look around, we get to see many who, had everything yesterday, are forced to beg and steal today. Be careful when you degrade others, you can’t ever say when it can get it to you. There is no guarantee to anything. If you have everything today, you never know you end up with nothing at all tomorrow. Walk in their shoes a few miles to know how worst it hurts.