There are certain things we get used to, or let me say I got to used to, some things taken for granted, that is the way of life. I was not born in riches neither raised in them. I come from a lower middle class family to begin with.. what my forefathers were or had is just history, most of my childhood and all my best memories of life were from a place which had nothing new.. just loads of love, my grandmother's place. I am told time and again that my uncles had to work as laborers at our relatives place and they have come up a long and hard way. My own parents never did, they had good jobs a far better proportion than my grandparents but we had our own issues making it an above average financially but dysfunctional household, so most of my life had been in the village.
It is a common scenario in the villages, especially in my community, to have loads of help at home.. one to clean the house, one 24/7 person, one for the cattle, one for errands, etc. No matter how rich or poor we were by default BIG because of the caste we belonged to and there were always people. By the time we were old enough to realize our surroundings, the grandfather left his biggest vice, playing cards and from then on there was no shortage of money even though there was never excess and then we had people working for us, to play with, to walk us around, to move around the cattle, whatever and a household help since we had a big front yard and back yard to clean and due to age problem, the grandmother could not do it on her own. So, long story short, I was raised by my grandparents with the help of the helping aids. Since childhood they never let us do anything out of love and that, I must say, I am guilty of taking it for granted.
Somehow I never really gave much thought about the help I have at home or their lives. I am always grateful at what they do but never really gave it a thought that I was actually living off their childhood or maybe even if I knew, I just pushed it aside because it was the way it is supposed to be.. No one really told me we were born to command and they to serve but somehow without realizing that was what was projected.
People working as household help are usually youngsters, girls who stopped school after 10th or after puberty and waiting to be married, meanwhile earning for their dowry or whatever or the very old ones whose kids have kind of abandoned them. My experience tells me that even if I refuse their services they will be hired elsewhere and in fact most of them like to be in OUR brick and concrete houses with all equipment, work there, stay there and be one among us than go back home, so I have kind of turned a blind-eye to it all.. they are not small kids, they are above 16 yrs. of age but still yes they are with us all the time, their waking hours, their most productive hours, their happy hours everything is with us.. our sorrows are theirs, our pain is theirs. I ensure that they are well-fed, well-clothed, put some money in the bank for them BUT have to give some to the greedy parents but still youth and elderly are the ones who come to work.
I cannot, in this stage, do anything else than employ them and ensure their well-being all that is within my limits but at times I feel terrible, especially since the past month where all I have done is lie around on the bed. There are kids who come and play with LO, I give stuff to them and they feel that I do something really big but it breaks my heart 'cos I know deep within that I am actually kind of paying them off in my own little way. If I were to do something really big as they portray it to be, there are a lot more children out there :(, then why only them... It hurts all the more when people call it charity, no I DON'T, I am just being practical and taking credit for NOTHING is what I am guilty of..
One sentence... Do you work more hours than your age???? is what triggered this..'cos I see some people do it and in a way have been guilty of making people work for me.. scream out for help to even bring a glass of water when all I can do was to go walk and get it...now I realize when I actually have to do it because of my immobility. I make it a point, from this moment, to do all my chores myself when I am capable of it... enough of taking things for granted... 'cos just feeling guilty is not enough.. I need to practice before I preach and the kids need good values. The generation next should at least not be the same as we are born to believe. I admire the kids in US in this aspect a lot, born Indian and raised with an attitude of the West towards work is what I like to follow.....