‘The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.’ – Abigail Van Buren
Another quote talks about a man’s behaviour being determined by how he treats his inferiors.
In the last couple of posts, I talked about how difficult it can be for some women to conceive. Even if you have not experienced labour pains without anaesthesia, consider that it is described as most profound.
Now, ponder on this? Would any sane mother willingly give her child out to unknown or scarcely-known people to bring him/her up? If not for the worsening economy and escalating poverty, I really doubt that any caring mother would willingly give out her child to be a maid or labourer. Quite a number of these kids actually have these decisions made by guardians after being orphaned.
In the light of this, I ask us (especially women) why we treat these children like they are mere animals. Whether employed as maids in our parents’ house or in our husband’s home, the story of abuse is often the same. Simply because we are responsible for their upkeep and have paid a pittance to their guardians, we believe we own them and treat them like slaves, or animals. Most times, they transfer the way we treat them on our dependants, our possessions and the work they do for us. Worse still is that they often live up to our evil expectations of them.
By no means are all maids good. I know that. However, once they possess a vice we feel we cannot tolerate, the honourable thing to do is to return them to their families. There are tales of maids who will seduce your husband or father, of those who will eat your children’s meals and starve them instead, of maids who will use your house as a brothel in your absence, of those who are accomplices in kidnapping your children, or burgling your house. Pray that Allah does not bring such people you way.
Whichever maid you get, treat her humanely until she proves she deserves to be treated otherwise. Then, rather than stoop to her level, persuade her to change her ways or return her to where she came from. Respect her and let your kids do the same. Help her to experience a childhood of colour. Do not starve her or burn her hands in the stove flames, do not refuse her medical treatment or proper clothing, don’t punish her unduly or expose her to sexual abuse.
If they are orphans and we raise them well and educate them, who knows? We may attain Paradise through them.