Why is India Doing the Maid’s Work?
Apparently a mop is an exciting contraption if you are a kitten. For me, not so much. This morning our two adolescent cats followed me around the house in a state of rapt attention, their eyes glued to the mop in my hand. Though it may have been my imagination I thought I heard feline chuckling. Sadly, I am not nearly as skilled at the art of mopping as my larcenous ex-housekeeper.
Marie is the most recent in a long line of women who have stolen from me. The objects of their sticky fingers have included an LPG tank, cases of San Miguel beer, bags of sugar, two cameras, three lenses, a carbon-fiber tripod, wooden Balinese carvings, light bulbs, glass knickknacks, and a husband.
Yesterday, Marie lost her job because of a cheaply made, supposedly bronze statue, one of a pair that I bought in India two years ago. Perhaps the statue’s gold painted surface led her to believe that it was solid gold. Who can say? All I know is that I paid no more than $20 for it. Hardly worth losing one’s job over.
In every instance except Marie’s, I ignored the first few missing items, not wanting to face the uncomfortable task of firing a woman who has children to feed. But my cowardice only served to make each maid bolder and more ambitious, and in the end, created disaster for us all.
This was Marie’s first offense, but having learned some very expensive lessons, I fired her as soon as I discovered the theft. I have to admit that I always found Marie a little scary. I mean, she is a big boned, meaty woman whose dark eyes always made me think that she wouldn’t hesitate to take me down if ever I crossed her. So yesterday I was wary. In our conversation, I never actually accused her of taking the statue, though there is no doubt that it was she. I merely placed its matching partner on the dining table and said that one of these statues was missing so I had decided not to have anyone working inside my house anymore. I pulled out some cash and handed it to her, a very generous amount of severance pay considering that she had stolen from ME. And she walked away looking fairly pleased with the whole situation.
But then I wondered, why does this keep happening to me? The same situation keeps repeating itself over and over. Does this mean that I am creating it? And if so, why would I do this? When I thought about it for a while I realized that I have a belief that all maids steal after a certain amount of time. Is it possible that my BELIEF that all maids eventually steal is what turns otherwise honest women into thieves? Or do I believe it because it’s actually true? Or, maybe what goes on inside my head has no bearing on anything whatsoever.
Undeniably, the power of suggestion is strong. Have you ever been on a public bus that has no toilet when the driver has commented that it’s going to be three hours until the next bathroom stop — and your bladder has instantly filled?
Might our beliefs about other people have a similar effect on them? It wasn’t all that long ago that I was looking at the two-year-old son of a neighbor and thought to myself, you poor kid, you haven’t got a chance in hell. Why did I think such terrible thoughts about this little kid? My rational mind will answer that he comes from a long line of gamblers and deadbeats so he’s doomed — but so what? Anything and everything is possible. Maybe our thoughts and beliefs somehow get out there into the ether and actually influence people and I have done that child a big disservice.
I have no idea if there is merit to any of these ideas, and who could possibly say for sure, anyway. But eventually, when I replace Marie, I am going to be very careful with my thoughts!