Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Celebration Of Life - Part Four

Everybody loves a clean house but nobody likes the maid

Cleanliness is a learned behavior as laziness tends to be.  Perhaps, it is just our nature to be untidy, messy and unclean.  The bad thing, we are only taught about cleanliness, and to be neat and tidy, when we have passed through the initial psychological learning stage. 

Our developmental stage as kids and through our adolescent, our parents tended not to instill in us the habit of clearing the mess we did.  They allowed us to be disorganized and seldom demanded for us to put the things back in order.  They would not scold if we refused to sweep the floor nor not wiping the milo stains that we spilled nor when we chose to leave the bed undone.  They  would not reprimand when we left the dirty plates unwashed in the sink.

Hence, we grew up taking for granted that house-cleaning had to be somebody else's job.

I really like to say it again, "Everybody loves a clean house, but nobody likes the maid".  And, the same notion applies where "everybody loves a clean house, but nobody loves to 'maid' it".  Okay, okay, it is not everybody but almost all.

Hopefully, this writing will bring light to the way we see ourselves and how we treat another human being.  At the same time, it is about a mirror reflection, hopefully to shed some light as to where and how we place our mind and soul.

Everybody loves a clean house but nobody likes the maid

I have always felt, and with respect to those who have maids, that they (the 'Employers' in general) don't really have much compassion for their 'Employees', the maids.  Almost everywhere I see, almost everywhere I hear, the same thing is happening.

Eckhard Tolle refers to it as collective insanity.  Somehow, there is a belief there aren't good enough maids deserved to be appreciated and there are just too many generous and kind employers around.  Yes, I am being sarcastic here.  Fact is, I have heard too much of it.

To most, a maid is just a maid - an employee that is being paid to do the domestic works with minimum social interactions being adhered and developed.  Ironically, as much as she lives in and within the Employer's household, she is unlikely to become and to be fully accepted as one of the family member.  A line is usually drawn; there is the employer that needs to be served and there is an employee that is being paid to do the house works.

No, I am not arguing in favor that she has to be A family member but common courtesy should not be totally disregarded.  It is all about how we treat another human being.  Does not an individual be accepted to be closer when she is staying under the same roof?  Or, does not we feel estranged when we alienated her presence?  Somehow, the paycheck has become an exchanged for 'slavery'.

The other day, I overheard an Employer Ma'am said, "I hired you here to work, not to have Ah Ma fall in love with you and make you family.  I have to go out to work so you can get your pay every month!"  Wow!

Thing is, if ever a woman can choose on the kinds of any decent jobs that can bring in hard-earned money to buy food, shelter and clothing for her family, becoming a maid is hell of a Hobson's choice.  Maids are usually at employers' whims and fancies.  Their status, for their dignity as human beings, is often treated with little respect and little empathy for the hard work they put in day in and day out.  And mind you, houseworks are usually 24/7 365 days needing attention at all times.

Granted that many employers feel there is already an exchange of energy when hiring a maid:- that the maid is paid and being paid fairly and adequately.  Hmm, is she?, I wonder.  Hence, the only thing she should own in return is gratitude and not complaining?  Afterall, many Employer Ma'ams and Sirs would think, the maid is already getting free bed and board, free food, free rides and the occasional free clothes on top of the salary that is tax free.

The maid's role is just to finish all the typical domestic chores from cooking, ironing, washing, cleaning the house to taking care of the elders and the children.  Ah, and to many of us, these chores are simply just simple!  No need to think (easy job), no need to plan (easy job) and does not need much physical endurance (how can it be tiring?!).  While the employers are the 'bread-winners' that can sleep late and waking up later than the maid, the maid hardly gets her eight hours of rest daily.

I am amazed at how we have become fixated with the roles.  When we think we can afford to hire a maid, many of us forget the main humanitarian possibility that another poor woman may have to earn an income for her family in return.  Somehow, the maid is made to serve many 'Employers' within the household.  The children automatically become the sub-employer and so are the Employers' fathers and the mothers.
These children and the elders will no longer be cooking, ironing, doing the laundry, washing even the cups or lift the brooms to clean their own bedrooms.  Children are made to think they now owned a slave to do everything for them.  I have seen some children that don't even know how to bring their plates from the dining table, after they have finished the meal, and  wash that one plate.  And, some elders that cannot even move an inch of their hands to reach out for the TV remote control!  Unconsciously, we have turned ourselves to be some sorts of high dignitaries or Kings and Queens.

How many of us actually allow the maid to eat together with the whole family?  No, she has to eat our left-overs and her rightful place to eat is only in the kitchen.  Our dining table is too expensive and only meant for others but not the maid?  The other day, I overheard another disgruntle of a  Ma'am that feels her maid eats more than her! 

Do we watch our favourite TV shows together?  While we become (more) complacent, the maid must continue to make sure that the house is prim and proper.  That, the house is kept round the clock tidy, neat and clean.  We can become lazy but not them?

While we may complain of not getting enough annual leaves, we simply unable to pass down the same benefits to our maids.  We may demand for medical leaves for a headache but the maid can only have an hour's nap before resuming her duties.  We feel we have the rights to rest - perhaps, cos we think our job is nobler, but we grunted our reluctant approval when a maid asks for a day's off.

No, I am not advocating that the maid should work lesser hours than her employer and neglecting her main roles.  Nor should she treat herself as the "sir" or "ma'am" in the houe and ignoring all the dirty bowls-and-plates in the sink. 

But!, does not anyone think that, the minute we think we can afford a maid, we relinquish all kinds of domestic works?  We don't even know anymore as how to dish out a simple maggi? Fry an egg?  Iron just a clothes?   These simple tasks are automatically transferred to the maid, even while she is probably ironing clothes or washing the toilet at the time of request. 

Hmm, somehow, we become an OCDs overnight that all things in the house must be tidy, neat and clean but for the wrong reasons. A maid should be taught to do the things correctly. We have our own ways of arranging things in the house and the degree of neatness and cleanliness. We cannot assume a maid, and just because she is called a maid, should know everything related to house cleaning and maintenance. Just like our parents who didn't teach us when we were kids, the maid will just take for granted should there be no directions.

Everybody likes a clean house but nobody loves to 'maid' it

If doing house work is ever so easy, requiring not much a physical thing,  why aren't we doing it?  Why do we always find excuses not to clean and mop the house?  Why can't we stack our things neatly but to leave them disorganized?

Thing is, everyone loves a tidy, neat and clean house but we would prefer it if somebody else does the job.  Housework, somehow, is such a chore that can easily tire us.  It consumes much of our time when we can channel our energies to do other productive things instead.  But, are we that busy everyday? Try sit back and answer that question honestly.

When we can think and feel all of that, where then is our empathy?  We make a fuzz after a day of house cleaning that our body aches.  But, it is another story when a maid is taking a break.  We conveniently forget that a maid is another human, just like us, and that her body aches too.  Aren't we listening to our self hypocrisy?

A lot can be said about disorganized, disarrayed, messy and unclean people.  Their environment speaks loudly about their personality.  I am not claiming that their personality can be necessarily a negative one.  Nor, here am I saying that a messy house reflects on one's messy state of mind.

While we seek for everything clean, we are actually striving towards mindfulness for love, peace,  hope, courage, determination and inner strength.  We want to achieve for the ultimate sources of success in life.  But, why is it hard for us to spend an hour or so daily to organize things in the house?

We easily gloss over the untidy state in which we live with excuses that 'One day, I might need that', 'I am so attached to these stuffs', ' I won't be able to find anything if it is moved' or 'I have no time to clean up'.  Ultimately, we convince ourselves that clutter is synonymous with cosy and it is the inevitable result of creative nature.

The duality where we love clean things and our laziness towards them is our gap for compassion.  We lack the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy.  We lack the greater social interconnectedness and humanism.  My belief, if we want to generate love and positive thoughts, it has to start from within us.  Our soul, and heart, has to be clean.

There should be a balance to achieve a good quality of life.  We should live a life bringing about mental peace and physical comfort.  When our environment is clean, we just feel clean.  So is the need of a soul.  We always find comfort in good souls and we always feel pleasantly inviting entering a clean house.

Little Story

Hertford - The last few weeks before moved out

Up till now, I can never forget my reactions towards Chiauw during Reiki Sanctuary's renovation in 2008.  It was my worst bad behavior.  Chiauw had helped us tremendously.  Her service was professional and very thorough.  She had our best interests.  She made a good ID and was very kind towards us.  I will definitely be using her again when another abundance comes.

Looking back, it was the day when Hertford turned into such a messy and untidy place.  We were all stressed up then.  We lived in her energy for almost three months before moving out.  Slowly, her untidiness and messiness clouded my emotions and mind.  I breathed her energy and soaked in the disarrayed vibrations.  Unfortunately, the incident just had to happen where I burst out at Chiauw over a small thing.

More Mess!! Untidy Environment, Untidy Mind?

This is my story.  What's yours?

Cleanliness and neatness in one's home bring about mindfulness in our thoughts and actions.  We should be mindful at every step not to cause any kind of inconvenience to any person in any ways.  Though there are no known scientific studies to link a tidy house to a tidy mind, Donna Smallin (an organizing expert and author) claims the rewards of an organized home are huge:

-  Imagine having more time to spend with the people you love
-  More energy for the things you want to do
-  Less stress
-  More money in your pocket
-  Better self-esteem
-  A simpler life

Here is an interesting site - A Tidy House Is A Tidy Mind for further read.

    About Me

    I am a certified Master in Traditional USUI REIKI and KARUNA REIKI. I am also a certified practitioner in MAGNIFIED HEALING and INNER DANCE.

    I have been teaching and conducting spirituality, healing and energy works (including Breathing Techniques, Meditation and Spinal Qiqong) for more than two decades.

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