One noble deed at a time

The other day I witnessed something that disturbed me and I opted to share it. Children were playing outside around Maghrib time and a middle-aged woman was trying to get them to go back inside the house. She would manage to get them close to entering the house when they would split and start running in different directions until at one point she was visibly upset.

They were not playing with her, they were toying with her! She was an object in their play. But kids who were having fun at the expense of the maid are just kids and this talk isn’t directed at them.

Some might say that this is making a big thing out of nothing but if you consider that the maid, in better circumstances for her, could have been back home playing with her own kids rather than being toyed with by other people’s children, then you will understand what I mean.

Sometimes the obvious must be stated. These maids are breathing living human beings made of the same stuff we are all made of. Needless to say, their sense of pain, physical and emotional, is just as sharp as that of all of us.

They are the people that we entrust with the most vulnerable of our family members. Daily, we leave our children and our elderlies under their care while we are away. We trust them with what we eat and we even trust them with our bedrooms and secrets.

They are generally from abroad and don’t see their loved ones as often as they would like. We generally don’t talk to them much about their inner struggles and what they may be going through emotionally; they usually face it alone and quietly.

Power over someone is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a blessing in disguise. A blessing because there is an opportunity to do the best of deeds; to be compassionate, to be humane and contribute in the elevation of the human spirit.

But having that much authority over someone opens up doors for abuse whether intentional or not. Being given power over another soul is some sort of a trap. But knowing better of god, I have no doubt it is meant to be an opportunity to use to please him. “Be merciful to the people of the earth and the one above the heavens will have mercy upon you,” Prophet Mohammed says. That is even more so towards the ‘weak’ amongst us.

Ironically, one doesn’t have to be a bad person to hurt people or otherwise cause harm. Most of us have unintentionally been verbally unfair or abusive to someone at some point without even realising it but by so doing we have inadvertently contributed to a general demoralisation of the human spirit. We shouldn’t beat ourselves over it but we can make a commitment to be the builders and the elevators of the human spirit, not the breakers.

By placing our daughter, mother or aunt in their place working for someone in some foreign land and consider how we would like them to be treated, it will place things into proper perspective.

Fact of the matter. Most of us ‘normal’ people will never do one huge good or noble deed. The best we can do is accumulate one deed at a time. I can’t think of a better ‘small’ deed to bank than mercy to the weakest amongst us every time we have the chance to do so.

Let’s be mindful of:

Their workload, rest time and that they are away from their loved ones including children; if you feel stress causes you to snap sometimes, imagine how much stress they endure
Because they are always there when we come back home and always do as ordered, we might start to objectify them and forget that they have feelings too
Show appreciation for what they do. All of us are hardwired to matter, be respected and be treated well
If you shout at or make fun of them in children’s presence, you might as well tell the kids that it is okay to abuse people because of their status; we awe our children example setting
Don’t allow kids to be too dependent. I have witnessed kids who can’t even take their clothes to the laundry room!

We should teach children, through their maids, that belittling or mistreating others is not an indication of being big. Big people pull people up they don’t push them down. Teach them mercy, not cruelty.

Obviously, there are house maids who won’t respond to kind treatment and might be simply pain in the neck. The best thing to do in those cases is to let them go and play it safe.

muscat daily recycle