“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” C.S. Lewis
In less than 8 hours after I arrived in the country we will be living in for the next 3 years, my husband and I were taken to our new villa.
As we toured our new home, we were impressed with this modern, open, well-furnished space.
Towards the end of the tour we walked past the kitchen and the half-bath, past the laundry room and the storage closet to a small room in the back of the house that is just a bit bigger than the storage closet.
The room has a small tinted window in the room that lets some light in but it is so high you can’t see out of it. There is a small air conditioner, and off to the left of the room is a small watertight door. When you open the door it reveals a tiny bathroom with a fluorescent light, a sink, a toilet and a shower wand. (No tub, no shower curtain, and no way to keep the water from flowing through the entire bathroom if you shower.)
Yes – This tiny, claustrophobic space is intended to be the maid’s room.
Immediately I struggled wondering how I would feel if that tiny space in the back of the house with no window to look out of was mine… Wondering how I could even consider hiring someone to live in quarters that are significantly less than what we have.
I moved our dog’s travel kennel and dog food into the room and thought the shower may work well as a dog shower. (Although the first day I took our dog in there to use it, we were both bothered by the little box we were in.)
Yesterday I visited with a friend that has lived in this country for 10 years. She spoke of homes where the maid slept in the laundry room on a small mat so she could have air conditioning and did not have a bathroom of her own.
Which lead to a discussion about perspective.
If you have not had a roof over your head, never had a/c, if you have had to share a room that size with many other people, or had to use an outdoor biffy, or had to wash yourself from the river or with a hose from the sink these accommodations suddenly look inviting.
So today I’m considering perspective…
- I’m trying to imagine what it is like to have so little, that this space would be a blessing. (There’s no doubt that it could be a blessing to someone with nothing.)
- I’m trying to imagine being happy living in that maid’s room. (My mind keeps shuddering at the thought.)
- And I’m still questioning if I could ever feel good about providing accommodations for someone else that are so much less than what I have.
Please share: What situations are you in that are causing you to ponder your perspective?
Photo credit: iStock