Both Bolen and I grew up having domestic helpers in our family. When we began to raise our own family and have children, we decided to hire our own helpers. There was even a time when we needed two helpers to work in our growing household. We have 5 children; the first four were one year and two years apart. As of the present, we have a helper "Nits" staying with our children in Manila.
When I (Jorge) was growing up, my mother often reminded me and my younger brothers not to take having a domestic helper for granted. She observed that whenever our helper performed well, we tended to be lax on maintaining clealiness and tidiness at home. When we got home from school, we threw our bags anywhere, our socks, shoes, uniform and anything we have on our bodies. The house soon becomes a tangled mess.
Later in life, I find myself admonishing our children on the same matter. I must admit it, having a domestic helper in your home tempts you to relax and let good habits like "clean up after yourself" drop by the wayside. Their presence spoils you; or rather, you tend to spoil yourself knowing that someone will clean the mess for you.
This is not something that occurs only in modern life. The ancient book of Genesis says that Potiphar, an Egyptian military commander had a skillful servant named Joseph in his home, and as a result: did not concern himself with any of the affairs of his household except for the food he wanted to eat.
As we serve among domestic helpers in Hong Kong, this is one matter that we commonly hear our church attendees complain about - their employers unconsciously, slowly become more and more messy, dropping everything as soon as they enter the house. Once they helped to maintain a clean and tidy home for the family, now they just dump everything and leave the helper to do it all. When I listen to this kind of story told, I cannot keep myself from having a tinge of guilt because it reminds me of how I used to treat our helpers.
There are some very good reasons to fight this drift downward into sloppy living:
- Lack of discipline in your personal life will spill over into your professional life. If you are a "slob" at home, sooner or later you'll become lazy or "cut corners" in your work too.
- Self discipline is essential to success. If you allow your children to become little "princes and princesses", they will not develop the self-discipline and habits that will turn them into successful adults.
- If we do our part, our home will become a more comfortable and pleasant place for our family. Our helper won't we overworked, and will be able to contribute to the lives of the children (playing or teaching English) rather than picking up our dirty socks, and backpacks.
For our own sakes, and the sake of our children, let's not let our helpers turn us into helpless, undisciplined people. We need to do our part to make our homes clean, tidy comfortable and happy!