Whenever we face some problem in handling with the worker who does seva here (I never like to call any one as “servant”), it will finally ended up in some kind of disagreement with me and my mother. But the main contention between me and my mother is of value and approach and not of the issue itself. She will often accuse me that as I cannot find some other to replace the worker, I am treating him mildly with some (inner) fear. But this more irritates (than the worker’s alleged failures) and several times I tell my mother, ‘never say that. I am not afraid of the worker (or anyone else) because I cannot find someone else to work. Even though it will increase the work load on me to handle things without someone to assist me, yet my approach with him is not with any fear to find a replacement or afraid of the work here. He too is a human being like us and prone to do some mistake. When we cannot have a perfect relationship within ourselves in a family, we should not expect others who do seva on remuneration to be perfect in their work or relationship with us.’
Here I have to confess one of my weaknesses: if any one say or think that I am afraid of others because I may lose their support, care, concern, fellowship, seva etc., then it irritates me. Several times I put up with others failures, weakness and even betrayal not because of any inner fear about loosing their seva but losing that PERSON. A PERSON is more important than the contribution that he makes. As I am not perfect, I should not expect others to be perfect. At the same time in the name of maintaining peace and cooperation we cannot tolerate and encourage adharmas. But while keeping piece with fellow human beings, yet maintaining relationship and handle the responsibility is a delicate job. There is no fixed theory in this and we have to learn by trial and error. It is too easy to say that ‘error (tavaru in Tamil) can be excused and corrected but ‘mistakes’ (Tappu in Tamil) should be punished’. But there is no clear cut line to decide which one is ‘error’ and which one is ‘mistake’.
It is a difficult to deal and handle subordinates. Particularly the domestic helps (whom we call as ‘servants’) are a subtle and difficult people to handle. They know our weakness and strength. But we should make it clear to them that we employ them as we cannot do everything on our own. At the same time without them, we won’t dies or give up. Without them, we may struggle but not going to be finished. Like wise we too should realize that they too have their own weakness, limitations and needs. By leaving us suddenly, they too are going to face some difficulties but not going to die and will manage and survive as we will survive without them. Of course I need not share more as we all face similar situation in our life. We can even write a book on this subject of handling our subordinates, particularly domestic helps. But every human relationship has its own demand which need to be worked out not only by the two individuals, but collectively who has some role to play in this.
I tried my best to communicate my mother that my approach to others, particularly who does seva for us on wages is not to treat them as a slave but as a fellow human beings, but not with any fear of loosing their service. Of course we cannot and we won’t have the same treatment towards someone work for us as we treat our family members, relatives and friends. About this I have already shared. (See idealism vs. reality and Love and hate relationship).
Dayanand Bharati, Gurukulam,April 23, 2011