Life offers little windows to peep into its secret purpose at the most unusual moments!
My mother-in-law had discovered that our maid had sneaked up some detergent powder. Doesn’t sound like much of a crime. But in India a detergent bar costs a fraction of detergent powder. For someone in the lower rungs of the economy it could be very well be a luxury; a luxury that saves time and effort in a country that still mostly does its laundry by hand.
We didn’t confront her.
She wouldn’t have treated herself to that luxury unless she had a need for it, I reasoned. This maid is someone who does my dishes; picks up after my children. So, what’s the harm in spending an extra fifty rupees in making her life easier?!
As she was helping me unpack my next grocery run, I picked up the detergent powder pack and told her, “This is for you”.
She gave a puzzled look. Thought for a moment. Cleared her throat and said:
“Akka (sister), I think you have got this for me because you discovered that I had taken some detergent powder. I should have asked you before hand. I needed it for heavy cleaning. I am sorry I took it without your permission. This will not happen again.
I am quite happy with my detergent bar. I don’t need the powder.”
Oh, I could have hugged her!
How many of us have the courage to confess when confronted by a situation like that?!
That moment so strengthened all my beliefs in human goodness and giving the benefit of doubt. If a hundred failures could lead to me a moment like that, I am happy to go through my so-called errors in judgement.
இன்னா செய்தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர் நாண
நன்னயம் செய்து விடல்
(The best way to punish someone who harmed you is to shame them by doing something beneficial to them – Thirukkural)
Amen to that!